09-03-2020 / Regreen Project

Field trip #1 – visiting Aarhus’ neighbourhoods applying NBS

Photos by Mira Rindsig Jensen, October 2019

Our REGREEN partner, Aarhus Municipality had planned an excellent excursion for the consortium. Thursday 24. October, we set off in a bus, where we were informed about the sites to visit – all demonstrating how the municipality, together with Aarhus Water and Sewage Supply met the challenges identified for the city. Focus was on how to make the city grow at the same time as making it more green and liveable and securing time and space for the water.

Firstly, we visited Risvangen, which is an example of improved water retention in heavy rainfall events. It is planned to provide multiple ecosystem services, including recreational areas and biodiversity. All rainwater is handled on the surface, and the local citizens has been involved in the detailed plans.

In Åbyhøj, a Vision for climate adaption to support the creation of green urban solutions with recreational opportunities and biodiversity has been drafted together with the local joint councils. We visited the first projects on the smaller roads with areas for rainwater and plants, and heard that in coming years several and bigger projects will be carried out like in Risvangen.

Next site was Skjoldhøjkilen, where improvement of protected areas, climate adaption with retention of water and afforestation results in a large green area with grazing cattle and recreation sites for the neighbouring citizens.

Finally we visited the suburb Gellerup, which is categorized as a ‘Ghetto’ in Denmark, which means that there are substantial challenges with e.g. unemployment, relative poverty and crime. We walked through the area to hear about the ongoing urban transition that both create value for the inhabitants and add to social impacts.

The examples illustrated that in a process of co-creation, the water can be seen as a resource that can support a climate resilient city while creating added values for the citizens and for nature and biodiversity.