• Morten Holm Gylling
  • Sebastian Kolby Knudsen
  • Ronja Helleshøj Sørensen
Climate change adaptation is an imperative and institutional challenge that cities need to act upon. The new paradigm of climate adaptation emphasizes the creation of blue-green and sustainable solutions on the surface, which presents possibilities for synergies between cloudburst management solutions and the creation of green urban spaces. However, this requires institutions to evolve beyond the rational approach that previously characterized the (re)development of water management and urban spaces, to encompass a larger variety of desires. This is especially due to the integration of the previously separated rainwater system into the urban landscape, which inevitably blurs preceding administrative and infrastructural boundaries.
In Copenhagen, high ambitions are stated in the visions of the Copenhagen Climate Adaptation Plan. Nonetheless, political prioritizations and limited urban space funds strongly influence the degree to which these ambitions can be materialized. The case of Strandboulevarden is the first project to make a blue-green transformation in a distinct cultural historical urban space where no funds have been allowed for spatial improvements. It is considered a ‘minimum project’ constituting a new type of landscape in the city, where aesthetics and architectural design is cut all the way to the bone due to the prevalence of the technical and financial bindings.
Being the first ‘minimum project’ represents an opportunity to develop practices for how the complexities inherent to such projects are to be dealt with. This implies unveiling what influences action, how the ‘good’ solution in a ‘minimum’ project is defined, and how practitioners act through their everyday work towards defining the ‘good’ solution. Thus, this thesis seeks to answer the following research question:
“Using the case of Strandboulevarden, how can practitioners - conducting cloudburst management projects that do not have any funds allocated for urban space development - navigate towards a solution, which contributes to the creation, or at least the maintenance, of the ‘good’ city?”
To answer this problem formulation, an in-depth case study of the contemporary process of the Strandboulevarden project is chosen. The statements comprising this thesis rely on and are abstracted from qualitative empirical data gathered throughout the Spring of 2019. The data consists of semi-structured interviews, document analysis and participant observations.
Conclusively, this thesis explores how, despite financial restrictions which result in a strong hydraulic logic, the Strandboulevarden project is also subject to the conditions of planning in the public space. The report highlights that there are conditions which represent opportunities to shape and frame the design beyond the purview of the water logic. It is demonstrated that in order to do this however, there is a need to actively integrate these conditions and translate their implications so they can represent an opportunity for the practitioners involved to change their practices in future projects with similar conditions.
SpecialisationUrban Planning and Management
Publication date7 Jun 2019
Number of pages143
ID: 305321073