12 January 2021
Denmark's coastal capital city, Copenhagen is at risk from sea level rise and flooding in extreme rainstorms which are becoming more common as climate change progresses. Designers have come up with an innovative green and blue system cost half as much as more conventional upgrades of underground sewer and drainage systems
A massive new “climate park” named Tåsinge Plads has been constructed to capture water in sudden storms—nearly six million gallons—to keep it from flooding streets and buildings when the sewer system is overwhelmed. Outside of rainfall periods it resembles a normal city park, but during a heavy downpour, the area undergoes a complete transformation. The park’s flower beds fill up with excess storm runoff; the hockey court becomes a water reservoir; and water storage tanks under the square collect additional water, which is pumped through pipes by the energy generated from kid-friendly bouncy floor panels.
Designers created the park with a small levee around three sides of the park leaving one side open to capture the flow from the surrounding neighbourhood (enabled by the slight downslope the park is built on). The levee function is assisted by small gates, that during normal weather, serve as park entrances but automatically close when triggered by flood waters.
The site demonstrates how existing parks can retain their basic design and stay playful while adapting to extreme rain. The city of Copenhagen plans to build 300 similar projects of all sizes.