Climate Adaptation & Landscape Architecture

Climate Adaptation & Landscape Architecture


All over the world, cities strive
to become more liveable and attractive – – for people, institutions
and businesses. However, cities also need to cope
with climate-related challenges – – like rising sea levels
and more intensive rainfall. Ramboll has a global group of professionals
dedicated to helping cities – – and industrial clients world-wide
convert these threats into opportunities. By combining world-class expertise in water
engineering and landscape architecture – – we analyse the challenges
and develop solutions – – that reduce flood risk
and increase liveability. Moreover, we carry out studies
and socio-economic analyses – – that assess the full value of a project
and compare it to the cost of doing nothing. Dealing with a complex challenge like
flooding calls for a structured approach. In most of our projects
we assess the flood risk – – through advanced hydraulic modelling. Based on risk-assessment, our global team
of water engineers and landscape architects – – starts working on potential solutions
and the overall design. Then we calculate the costs and effects
and adjust the design – – in dynamic and iterative processes – – where we involve the client
and other relevant stakeholders. Advanced hydraulic modelling provided
a solid basis for our collaboration – – with the city of Gothenburg on climate
adaptation and storm-surge protection. In Washington DC,
Ramboll’s models showed – – that the planned resiliency towards
storm surges and rising sea levels – – would only have a limited effect
on reducing flooding in the future. In the design and planning phases
of projects – – we enjoy being visionary and creative
together with our clients – – and we do our best to develop solutions
that serve multiple purposes. Climate adaptation
often goes hand in hand – – with the human and social dimensions
of urban liveability. Take for instance the Kampung Admiralty
in Singapore – – where we have helped the Housing and
Development Board transform a compact site – – into a dynamic community, where
integrated social and eco-friendly spaces – – enable an aging population
to live actively. This unique space is meant to serve as a
model development for community well-being – – in an inter-generational setting. Or take the neighbourhood Nørrebro
in Copenhagen, where Ramboll is part – – of the team designing and implementing
the visionary urban resiliency project – – “Soul of Nørrebro”. An urban park area will act as a rainwater
catchment basin during cloudbursts. Excess rainwater will be purified
biologically and led into an adjacent lake – – and people of all ages and backgrounds
will gain a highly livable area – – allowing even more social activities
and interaction. North of Nørrebro
in the small town of Kokkedal – – Ramboll has helped shape one of the world’s
most ambitious climate adaptation projects – – with a strong social dimension
and added much recreational value. Climate Adaptation Kokkedal is improving
the everyday life of the local residents – – environmentally,
socially and culturally. Flood risks from the adjacent stream
have been reduced significantly – – and rainwater is now used
to bring people closer together. In many projects we assist with stakeholder
management, facilitating workshops – – and involving key stakeholder groups
such as the local inhabitants. We have, for example, brought those
competences into play in New York City – – where the New York City Dept. of
Environmental Protection engaged Ramboll – – to create a cloudburst resilience study
based on experience from Copenhagen. Through a carefully structured engagement
and co-creation process – – Ramboll and the NYC Dept. of Environmental
Protection conducted the study – – which includes analysis of best-available
data about NYC rainfall and storm surges. The physical result of the study is a pilot
project in the southeastern part of Queens. The project is situated in an area
that has more flooding – – and sewer-backup complaints on record
than anywhere else in the city – – and where certain neighbourhoods
are flooded repeatedly. Ramboll’s climate study was important
in that it took the approach – – that was developed in Copenhagen
and applied it to New York City. The cloudburst resiliency planning study – – picked an area of New York City
in Southeast Queens – – and specifically goes through the
methodology that was applied in Copenhagen – – to try to develop
a New York City-specific cloudburst plan. It turns out that many of the concerns,
many of the thoughts that people are having – – when trying to do things differently,
are universal. So, it’s not so different whether you
plan in Copenhagen or in New York. You actually tend to have
a similar approach.

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