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Innovative skatepark prevents inner-city flooding

Photo: Morten Larsen

Danish skatepark prevents flooding

​Severe storms and flooding due to climate change are causing more and more problems around the world. In Roskilde, Denmark, a completely new approach to flood prevention has proven successful.

In the Danish city of Roskilde, a newly built recreational space and skatepark called Rabalderparken is not only a place for kids to ride their skateboards: It doubles as a new drainage system for the entire city, collecting and dispersing water after heavy rainfall. Along with Danish architectural firm GHB Landskabsarkitekter, COWI won the project of designing a new ground-level asphalt canal for flood prevention.

Complete with 2,300 m²  of concrete bowls, ramps and other ideal skating obstacles, the park also functions as a drainage system capable of transporting and holding up to 23,000 m³ of rainwater, almost enough to fill ten Olympic-size swimming pools. Water that otherwise could end up flooding basements and roadways in Roskilde. By pumping the water from the basins to the surface water pipe system in Roskilde and into the nearby Roskilde Fjord, you can empty the basins in Rabalderparken in no more than a few days.

Already a success

The flooding basins are divided into three minor basins, one of which is a permanent water basin. Rainwater typically flows into this basin. From there, it spills over into a grass basin and eventually spills into the basin being used as a skating area.

“If you go there any normal afternoon, you will see kids and teens playing, really using the area. You get the true benefit on the technical side, but also on the social side. I really think it’s been a huge success,” says Laila Krytz, Marketing Director in COWI.

The skatepark is built within Rabalderparken, a 40,000 m2 recreational space in Roskilde. It is expected that 250,000 m2 of homes, businesses, and cultural attractions will be developed in the area over the next 10 to 15 years.

LAST UPDATED: 16.09.2016