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An Urban Partnerships workshop from the summer of 2021 has resulted in various outcomes and concrete solutions in Danish municipalities.

In Denmark, you’re never more than 50 kilometers from the sea, and the coastal areas are of great value to many people in the country. But as the climate changes, seawater levels rise, and extreme weather becomes more frequent, the pressure on Danish coastlines is intensified and calls for innovation and rethinking of how new coastal protection initiatives can add value and be financed.

In June of 2021, BLOXHUB’s Urban Partnerships Program organized an interdisciplinary workshop on coastal protection together with Schønherr Architects.

The question at the workshop was not just how to best protect coastal areas, but how to do it in ways that integrate and support the value of those areas. Furthermore, the workshop focused on the financing of new coastal protection initiatives. These questions were addressed with the help of experts in design, architecture, engineering, foundations, and researchers.

From Idea to Impact

Based on two cases presented by the Municipality of Stevns and Guldborgsund, the workshop participants developed four different solution concepts based on two different funding models. Common to the work with the models was that they should consider the economic value as well as the natural and social value and that these should be made easily accessible to citizens.

Shortly after the workshop, a follow-up article was published on the Danish website Altinget about the different challenges and solutions to coastal protection. Some of the themes were the social and recreational value of the coastal zone areas, using nature as part of the development, the potential of new funding models, and having a holistic and long-term approach to coastal protection.

This article resulted in meetings between Danske Regioner and some of the experts attending the workshop, who provided sparring on a presentation for the Danish Government on the subject. Especially, a close connection between the workshop co-organizer Schønherr Architects and Danske Regioner was established.

Furthermore, the cases from the workshop needed concrete solutions, and the discussions gave valuable input to future tendering. Stevns Municipality even designed a tender based on ideas from the workshop. The tender offer was then won by Schønherr Architects, who had an in-depth knowledge of the municipality’s needs through the workshop collaboration.

Based on the workshop, Stevns Municipality applied for funding from Realdania to realize their project and received a grant for it in 2021. Schønherr is now working dedicatedly on the project, which focuses on citizen involvement in climate adaptation, ensuring that the project is anchored in the local area and the people living there.

Schønherr also recently won a tender from Guldborgsund Municipality, the other municipality represented at the workshop, to work with the development of the port area of the city of Gedser.

If you want to know more about the workshop or our Urban Partnership Program, please contact Program Director Lotte C. Breengaard. You can also stay updated on upcoming workshops or events on our event calendar or sign up for our newsletter.