Dragør Municipality has chosen COWI and Arkitema for coastal protection project


Dragør Municipality has signed a contract with COWI and Arkitema for the implementation of the "Climate-Resilient Coastal Municipality" project – a coastal protection project that aims to set new standards for storm surge protection and coastal defence.

Dragør Municipality has a visionary and holistic development plan for coastal protection, created by COWI and Arkitema in 2021. This plan aims to reduce the risk of flooding caused by storm surges and rising sea levels, both in the short and long term.

With this new contract, COWI and Arkitema will also bring these plans to fruition together with the strategic innovation agency IS IT A BIRD.

Jesper Horn Larsen, Head of Centre for Planning, Technology and Business, who signed the contract on behalf of Dragør Municipality, says:

“We now look forward to continuing the collaboration with this competent advisory team and bring this specific project to life – of course, in dialogue with the property owners in the most vulnerable part of the municipality. We can now rely on the expertise of the consultants all the way throughout the physical construction of a landscape embankment in the southwestern part of the municipality and an advanced embankment in front of Søvang, protecting the residential areas behind it.”

Arkitema and COWI employeesFrom left: Jeppe Sikker Jensen, Development Manager, COWI; Sanne Lovén, Design Lead, Arkitema; Thomas Gierlevsen, Project Lead, COWI; Kristine Cool, Chief Consultant, Is It a Bird; Lise Holm, Project Manager, Dragør Municipality; Hanna Rehling, Planning Manager, Dragør Municipality; and Jesper Horn Larsen, Center Manager for Planning, Engineering, and Business, Dragør Municipality.

Dragør Municipality on the island of Amager east of Copenhagen has a 13 km long coastline, which is divided into different segments in the local coastal protection project. The initial focus of the project will be on the coastlines of Søvang, Sydvestpynten and Kongelunden.

Thomas Gierlevsen, Project Lead on the project, says:

"Coastal protection is a complex discipline, where many considerations and interests need to be balanced. That's why we have assembled our best team here. Together with our consultancy team, we will engage in close dialogue with property owners and Dragør's citizens. Our goal is to achieve the best possible balance between robust coastal protection, views and access to the sea as well as mindful considerations for nature, landscape and the economy."

The vision is to integrate nature into the coastal protection while connecting technology, landscape, coastal culture, as well as the local environment and along the coastline.

Sanne Lovén Damgaard, Design Lead at Arkitema, says:

“I'm proud that we will be able to continue the development of this complex task, which can become an innovative flagship project for how we can succeed in protecting the Danish coasts in the future." She elaborates:

"Together with Dragør Municipality, we have created a different approach to coastal protection, where we protect property owners while ensuring the existing nature and landscape qualities."

Coastal protection scheme
Large parts of the coastline fall within zones covered by cultural and nature protection regulations, including EU's Natura 2000 rules. Over the coming year, the advisory team will, among other things, study the way forward for the project in relation to how coastal protection can be implemented within conservation areas.

In parallel with the local coastal protection project "Climate-Resilient Coastal Municipality," Dragør Municipality is involved in an overall preliminary study on how critical infrastructure in the capital region (i.e. Copenhagen Airport, the Øresund Tunnel and the metro) should be protected against rising sea levels and storm surges. The preliminary study is expected to be completed by 2024.

Read more on Dragør Municipality’s website here (in Danish).

Get in contact

Employee Thomas Gierlevsen

Thomas Gierlevsen
Project Director
Marine and Foundation Engineering, Denmark

Tel: +45 56 40 00 00