Water Sensitive Neighbourhood

Martin Vysoký

Today Denmark is undergoing major climate adaptation processes where Blue-Green Infrastructure is integral part of cities’ planning toolbox. This research paper examines Danish practice that has set an example on how cities world-wide can use holistic and integrated planning methods that employ nature-based technologies and optimize investments in climate adaptation projects, so that they are sustainable for the citizens of today as well as for future generations.

Climate change is an issue that is no longer being ignored. Cities world-wide are adapting their existing and new structures to a changing climate. This need to address climate changes creates an opportunity to make cities more economically stable and at the same time more liveable for people and thriving for nature.

This master‘s thesis focuses on climate adaptation in Denmark, where extreme rainfall that creates floods in urbanized areas is a major threat and therefore it becomes one of the nation‘s main concerns. The thesis is done in partnership with a Danish Consultancy Company experienced in holistic planning and the implementation of services for climate adaptation and flood risk management. The partnership is based on a work on one of their ongoing climate adaptation projects, which is used as a case study for this master thesis.

The case study assesses flood risks in one specific area in Denmark, during extreme periods of rain. Then, based on these findings and findings from on-site investigations, it creates a proposal for the implementation of climate adaptation measures on the site, with regards to local conditions and local knowledge of the area. As a result, the proposal recommends ways to improve conditions for urban life in the area while strengthening the resiliency of the current drainage system against extreme rainfall.

To provide background for the case study, a brief summary of theories connected to Water-Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) and Blue-Green Infrastructure (BGI)is included and both terms are defined. This includes also a description of the main strategic principles for planning this infrastructure in an urban landscape on a large scale and an introduction of a model for handling rain water in small-scale private spaces. The theories and methods are then applied to the case study.

This master’s thesis provides insights from climate adaptation practice. It can be seen as an example of how to create a climate adaptation proposal, which then can be utilised

Martin Vysoký

Landscape Architect

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