Home / Skip Navigation LinksNews & Media / News / News archive

Flood protection measures will benefit recreational activities

Architectural firm TREDJE NATUR 
 Photo: Architectural firm TREDJE NATUR.

​Flood protection measures in Copenhagen, Denmark, are to protect citizens from future flooding caused by torrential rain. Together with two partners, COWI won an idea competition with an innovative proposal for how a park can protect a Copenhagen quarter from future flooding.

Finding room for 26,000 m3 of water in a historic and preservation-worthy park in the centre of Copenhagen was the starting point of the idea competition. Instead of leading the water away from the city quarter through underground sewers, Enghaveparken Park will in the future delay vast amounts of rainwater before leading it onwards to the port of Copenhagen.

The winning entry by architectural firm TREDJE NATUR, process consultants Open Air Neighbourhood and COWI is considered an inspiring and innovative proposal, and will contribute to renewing the Copenhagen quarter of Vesterbro. The proposal outlines how Enghaveparken can be adjusted to meet the challenges that the quarter will see in the next 100 years, in terms of flood protection and the citizens' need to use and move around the city's spaces.

"Along with our partners, we've developed an innovative proposal for how to maintain the park's current functions and structure, balance preservation considerations and also make use of dikes, sluices and hollows to keep large quantities of rainwater in the park," says Administrative Project Manager Ann-Gerd Rasmussen.

Smart engineering respects preservation considerations

Since 1928, Enghaveparken has been a lung for the city's inhabitants. Being preservation-worthy, the park's overall structure with rows of trees and hedges will be preserved because the proposal makes it a priority not to disturb the park's structure and overall appearance in any major ways. Rather the park's spaces and functions will be updated to match future needs.

"Our proposal builds on old engineering skills such as constructing a wall that fences in the park and delays torrential rain like a large-scale dust pan. The wall will feature an outline of a water channel, which collects rainwater from the park and the surrounding rooftops – hinting at viaducts as we know them from ancient Rome," explains Rasmussen.

"We'll also dig hollows in the park, which will slowly fill with water in case of torrential rain. Once the hollows are full, the closing mechanism in the park starts. The openings in the wall, which act as entrances, close, and the area acts as a floating dock. In this way, Enghaveparken will delay the water and prevent it from flooding the surrounding roads and buildings," continues Rasmussen. 

Enghaveparken is a big dust pan

The park has a slight slope, which COWI chose to utilise for collecting rainwater. The park is shaped as a large dust pan, and the plan is to lay out the park so that rainwater from the surrounding roads is led into the park and, via the slope, collected in hollows and led further onwards to the port through the sewers.

"Our winning entry aims to balance climate adaptation, preservation considerations and renewal. To this end, the park's spaces will be renewed and adjusted to meet the needs of modern daily life, and rainwater will be used for recreational purposes," ends Rasmussen.


By Tina Grønholdt Hansen
Published 14.08.2014

On the renewal of Enghaveparken

  • ​Områdefornyelsen central Vesterbro – the organisation heading the transformation of Copenhagen quarter Vesterbro – has set aside around DKK 7 million for renewing Enghaveparken.
  • The solution involving collection of torrential rain is paid for by water fees charged by the Greater Copenhagen Utility.
  • The organisation is working to raise around DKK 30 million to lay out the park in a way that adds recreational values to the torrential rain solution. For instance, a water garden in the centre of the park.
  • In June 2014, the A.P. Møller foundation granted DKK 11 million to renovate the existing buildings in the park, which are designed by famous Danish architect Arne Jacobsen.

Over the course of the summer and early autumn, the process of renewing Enghaveparken will be planned in details.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016