Greener streets, florid courtyard gardens, rich fauna and landscaped streets that carry stormwater away from the neighbourhood are ways in which we avoid water damage when extreme rainfall events occur.
This is the vision for the projects we will be implementing in the Østerbro climate-resilient neighbourhood over the next few years.
The climate is changing. We can look forward to more short, but heavy downpours like the ones Copenhagen has experienced in recent years. Rainfall events with such large volumes of water that the sewers are unable to keep up and where our basements have been flooded.
The heavy rains have caused damage costing several billion Danish kroner. The residents of Østerbro have experienced flooded basements, have seen items of sentimental value wrecked and have faced higher insurance premiums. With the Climate-Resilient Neighbourhood project we will future-proof the neighbourhood, so that we can gain control of the rainwater and minimise the damage caused by future downpours.
Green solutions for rainwater
We have a vision for a new way of managing rainwater. Instead of viewing rain as a problem we have to get rid of, we choose to view the rainwater as a resource we would like to focus on. Creating landscaped channels in the widest streets in our neighbourhood, which can discharge the water to the harbour, means that the water stays on the surface, where it cannot cause any damage.
Copenhagen’s sewer system is old, and it will be both too expensive and too difficult to expand the capacity of the existing system. It is time to invest in new solutions, which at the same time make our urban spaces greener, more fun and a better place to spend time. We find these solutions here in the climate-resilient neighbourhood.
We wish to find innovative technological solutions which at the same time meet our challenges with the large volumes of water and make our urban spaces greener, to the benefit of the area and its residents. We have to find lasting solutions so that we can manage rainwater as well as possible in the neighbourhood, both everyday rain and torrential downpours.
The Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan
The whole of Copenhagen has to find answers to the challenges we face here in Østerbro. An ambitious climate adaptation plan has therefore been developed that will be implemented over the next twenty years. The Climate-Resilient Neighbourhood is the demonstration project, which is to inspire the rest of the city to think green when we think about torrential downpours.
As the Mayor for Technical and Environmental Affairs, Morten Kabell, puts it:
“We need to make Copenhagen more resilient to extreme rainfall events. This will require new ideas and solutions, so that we use the rainwater at the same time to create new recreational urban spaces. We need to have less asphalt and more green spaces. That is precisely what is characteristic of the work in the Climate-Resilient Neighbourhood of Østerbro. It can become a great source of inspiration for the rest of the city.”