Kokkedal: Blue Green Garden City
Denmark’s largest climate adaptation project covers 69 acres in a deprived neighborhood near Copenhagen. The flood protection measures implemented have also revitalised the area by creating attractive recreational spaces for residents.
Christian Nyerup Nielsen
Director, Climate Adaptation & LandscapeT: +45 5161 6277
Fredensborg Municipality, Realdania
Schønherr A/S, Bjarke Ingels Group BIG architects, Ramboll
Denmark’s largest current climate adaption project, the "Blue-Green Garden City" in the town of Kokkedal, north of Copenhagen, will improve local residents' everyday life; environmentally, socially and culturally. The water levels in our cities are rising due to global climate changes. A cloudburst can have fatal consequences on vital facilities such as hospitals and infrastructure. And smaller, frequent rainstorms can ruin cellars and lead to problems with rodents, because sewer systems are not geared up to handle the extra water.
This climate adaption project will not only be able to safeguard against such damages – but also to use the water as a great advantage – aesthetically, socially and health-wise.
When water creates community spirit
Some of the motivations behind the project are that Kokkedal has experienced major floods with extensive damage due to heavy summer rains. At the same time, the area is run down and citizens have a reputation of being socially divided.
Because of these challenges, this project's main objective is to create outdoor areas that can provide the setting for a good social community and give the worn-down city a much needed boost.
“The Blue-Green Garden City has the potential to lift the entire city of Kokkedal and offer a new beginning. We are looking forward to having this new sustainable city, where the water will help bringing citizens together and create a good community. I believe that this climate adaption plan will help making Kokkedal a better and safer place to live," said Mayor of the municipality of Fredensborg, Thomas Lykke Pedersen.
A large part of the climate adaption plan in Kokkedal is focusing on expanding an existing stream, restoring the original water cycle and creating a delta formation to make the water flow through the city:
"In addition to being aesthetically attractive, this creates an improved eco-system, increased property prices, social cohesion and improved well-being," said Project Manager in Ramboll Christian Nyerup Nielsen.
Social climate adaptation can inspire worldwide
Using rainwater to bring the residents of Kokkedal closer together and unite the climate adaptation of the nearby Usserød Å with the renewal of a suburb in Kokkedal is a best practice example of how local management of water and flooding can be combined to create recreational values and new recreational areas where citizens can meet and interact:
We are dealing with a project that combines classic climate adaptation with urban development in an innovative way, which I think will set a precedent in the future - not only at in Denmark - but also internationally," said chairman of the Planning and Climate Committee in Municipality of Fredensborg, Lars Simonsen.
The project area covers a 69-acre town with a river valley, a school, a nursing home, a shopping centre and residential areas that are how to about 3000 residents.
Ramboll's role in the project
As sub-consultants, Ramboll's role is to create the design basis for the project and then make the hydraulic and technical detail planning, climate change adaptation and the local and recreational handling of rainwater.
This work will provide the technical basis for a series of meetings with the local authority, utilities and stakeholders such as housing associations, neighbourhood clubs, sports clubs, conservation groups, etc. The aim is to create the necessary local commitment and responsibility for the initiative.
Ramboll will also contribute by advising on the sharing of costs between municipalities and utilities under the current rules for climate adaptation.
- Safeguards against flood damage
- Attractive recreational spaces promote social cohesion
- Rejuvenation of a deprived area