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New Nature Solutions Prevent Cities from Flooding

New Nature Solutions Prevent Cities from Flooding

Climate proofing doesn’t only have to be about digging holes in the ground or expanding drain pipes. By thinking creatively, climate proofing could clear the way for new nature solutions, more outdoor life, and less nitrogen in the water. Nine new projects are providing tangible examples.

Dikes can be turned into paths. Storm water reservoirs can be turned into beautiful lakes. Trenches can become wild streams. And streams can block body of water away from cities if twined round – while providing new recreational spaces close to the surrounding cities.


These are examples of projects where municipalities turn climate proofing into something that not only keeps basements dry. The projects also provide citizens with new green spaces and more outdoor life.


As a part of their nature projects, Danish Minister for Environment and Food, Esben Lunde Larsen has granted DKK 24,4 million to nine project in which municipalities will take care of climate proofing and ensuring better environmental conditions and less nitrogen in the aquatic environment.


Climate proofing does not have to take place under ground in the sewers. The projects by the municipalities are proof that flooding can be stopped by finding natural solutions over ground. As such, the environment itself contributes to climate proofing when new streams, lakes, and meadows keep downpour at a distance from people’s basements, says the Minister.


Additional DKK 10 million

26 have applied for funding. Which is why, the minister has decided to raise the original amount of DKK 15 million for the nature projects with an additional DKK 10 million – thus, enabling more projects to be completed.


The uncertainty of whether one’s basement or house will be destroyed by heavy downpour is frustrating. Items with great sentimental value could get lost while you have to be rehoused and seek insurance. With these new projects, citizens won’t only get more security, they will also be given recreational gems of nature that they can enjoy in their local community, says the environmental spokesperson at the Danish People’s Party, Pia Adelsteen.


In geographical terms, the projects are spread throughout the country with four projects in Jutland, one on Funen, and four in Zealand. All municipalities have to find supplementary funding for their projects through either their own economic resources, fees, external funds or the like.


Facts about the nine projects

1. The nature in Hvalsø (in Lejre municipality) has been granted DKK 2,778,000 (project total: DKK 14,4 million)


In the future, you will be able to walk from the town of Hvalsø to the preserved Tadre Water Mill using a new path through the local surrounding nature. However, the lakes in the new recreational nature are actually reservoirs collecting rainwater and the new beautiful brook is actually reopened water pipes in the sewer leading water away from town.


Contact: Chief Consultant Niels Rolf Jacobsen, tlf: +45 46 46 49 12, 


2. A new brook will carry water away from the town in Odsherred municipality. It has been funded with DKK 2,986,000 (project total: DKK 7,0 million)


A new creek will be dug along Getsø road and connect with Grønnehave Bæk and carry water around Nykøbing South and out into Ise Fjord. The brook will become a recreational area with a new path. The brook’s water supply will partly be from a new reservoir facility where they receive water from households with private sewerage systems.


Contact: Head of Centre Niels V. Haar Sørensen, tlf. +45 59 66 60 79, 


3. New area with water from Vorup in Randers municipality has been funded with DKK 2,983,000 (project total of DKK 53,4 million)


A new area, the so-called Storkeengen, is set to be placed in the meadows between Gudenåen and the town quarter of Vorup, located in a commanding position. From Vorup excess water is led to the meadows by a pipeline and cloudburst pipes. A new bike will detain the water between Gudenåen and the meadows. The wet meadows will create a new area accessible by footbridges.


Contact: Engineer Christina Sass Møller, tlf. +45 89 15  17 26, 


4. Drainage in Vejle in Vejle municipality has been funded with DKK 2,534,000 (project total: DKK 6,1 million)


The city of Vejle will be protected from flooding by having two new wetlands collect water in Grejsdalen. The wetlands will also collect nitrogen and thus purify the water before it reaches Vejle Fjord. It will become a recreational area when the meadows are nursed, a creek is renovated, and a new creek in the sewer is open. People will enjoy it from two residences with parking and a 3-4-kilometer-long MTB-route.


Contact: Project Manager Karsten Wandall, tlf. +45 76 81 24 74, 


5. Seest Mølleå in Kolding municipality has been funded with DKK 2,534,000 (project total: DKK 6,1 million)


Water runs rapidly through Seest Mølleå when it rains heavily. That is why the stream of water needs to be slowed down in multiple places before entering Kolding. In order to do so, the creek will twine round multiple times. Doing so brings new recreational areas closer to the city. The path system needs to be expanded in order for citizens to gain access to the new areas. Water will also run out onto meadows in order to detain trances of nitrogen.


Contact: The Coordinator for Climate Adaptation Sanne Munk Doll, tlf. +45 79 79 42 67, 


6. Landsbækken in Aalborg municipality has been funded with DKK 1,842,000 (project total: DKK 11,6 million)


In order to collect large bodies of water and simultaneously free the water of nitrogen and purify water from roads, a new lake will be made. The area will become a larger recreational area close to Gistrup and the new hospital. Paths and common areas will also be established.


Contact: Ole Schwalbe Madsen, tlf. +45 99 31 24 07, 


7. Securing residences in Odense municipality has been funded with DKK 2,909,000 (project total: DKK 5,4 million)


142 residences in Seden Strandby are in danger of becoming flooded due to Odense Fjord. New dikes will be built and salt meadows with a rich bird life will be developed. In order to reduce the level of nitrogen in the water floating into Odense Fjord, a creek will also be twined around. People will enjoy the new scenery from bird towers and pathways in the surrounding area.


Contact: Forest- and Land Engineer  Lars Kildahl Sønderby, tlf.: +45 23 28 97 19, 


8. The wild river valley in Kedelsø-Langesø Ådal in Allerød municipality has been funded with DKK 4,394,000 (project total: DKK 7,4 million)


A new path system will make it possible to walk from Lynge to Øresund. This will relieve the pressure off the Lynge purification plant in charge of the waterways. Reservoirs set to delay the flow of water will treat the water before it runs out into the river. Another project in Langesø river valley will reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and contribute to the environment and biodiversity.


Contact: Employee Ole Dahlqvist Sørensen in charge of nature- and aquatic environments, tlf. +45 48 10 08 19, olds@alleroed  


9. A lake of synergy at Ellebækken in Næstved municipality will be partially funded with DKK 455,000 (project total: DKK 1,1 million)

In order to reduce the risk of flooding in the eastern part of Næstved and derive rainwater, new lakes will secure the creek against drainage in the summer and discharge of nitrogen. The lakes will become habitats for animals such as green tree frogs and sand lizards. New pathways and a new platform located out in the lake will also be used for educational purposes.


Contact: Employee Anja Rasmussen in charge of agriculture and creeks, tlf. +45 55 88 61 72,



-Source: Ministry for Food and Environment of Denmark