Dawn was breaking as the enormous cloud rolled in over Copenhagen, lit from above
by the cold light of a dying moon and from below by the sun’s first golden rays. Minutes later the scene was transformed into a dull grey day in the city as the first heavy raindrops fell. The frequency of cloudbursts in Denmark has grown steadily since records began in 1874.
A bad one in 2011 landed insurance companies with a $650 million bill for property damage. Copenhagen’s Cloudburst Management Plan includes 300 climate adaption projects over the next 20 years.
PHOTO Lars Just
In Roskilde, west of Copenhagen, Rabalder Park reverberates with the sound of kids on wheels as soon as school is out for the day. But when downpours still their happy cries and send them scuttling for cover, the rumbling of wheels-on-concrete soon becomes the roar of water-on-its way.
Heavier cloudbursts, rising sea levels, more flooding. This is the outlook for many urban areas. City councils, architects and engineers are responding to the challenges of a wetter future by looking at ways to adapt the urban landscape rather than expanding traditional underground drainage solutions. The approach saves money and creates better urban spaces.
Instead of reinventing the wheel, just learn from those who have already done it. Cities are busy doing just that as they look for ways to adapt to climate change and build more liveable urban spaces.
Theme on Energy Efficiency part 1/5: The payback period for energy saving investments can be painfully long and the risk of no payback frighteningly big. There are ways to tear down both barriers