Many coastal cities are unprepared to tackle the immediate threats of flooding, coastal erosion and storms. However, there are a wealth of solutions. Here, we present you with some of the best.

Cities are challenged by severe threats from more frequent and severe weather events. Coastal cities face especially high risks due to their exposure to the adverse impacts of rising sea levels – including coastal erosion, flooding and storms. Unfortunately, many coastal cities are unequipped to tackle these immediate threats and make a resilient recovery.

Flooding events and storms are responsible for colossal damage and destruction to environment and infrastructure. They have catastrophic effects on the livelihoods of citizens and generate massive costs to city administrations and governments in many parts of the world.

As of October 2018, the US has already experienced 11 disastrous weather events, each exceeding $1 billion in damages. Evidently, repairing roads, bridges, and houses is costly.

Therefore, it is critical to develop resilient coastal communities that can withstand the impacts of sea level rises. Efforts to build resilience will safeguard the communities’ livelihoods, protect ecosystems and environments, and secure economic stability in the region.

The Global Opportunity Explorer presents a vast collection of climate resilience projects. See the best cases from Denmark, a country which despite its small size has one of Europe’s longest coastlines, making it a good test facility for coastal resilience projects.

Odsherred’s climate change adaptation plan combines coastal protection and water management with local goals for urban development, tourism and trade.

With many low-lying areas, the City of Nykøbing Sjælland is vulnerable to storm surges and cloudbursts. Therefore, Odsherred Municipality has made a climate adaptation plan for Nykøbing Sjælland, where elements such as urban development, improved nature and water quality will be combined with efforts to climate-proof the area. Among others, Nykøbing Sjælland will be protected against a 1-in-50-year flood in 2050. This safeguards around 55,000 m2 of ground floor area in private homes, 3,000 m2 of basement area and 29 companies. By preventing flood damages, 67 million EUR worth of damages could potentially be saved.

Strategy combines climate adaptation with municipal goals

Svendborg has created a unique climate adaptation project using the nearby forest to retain water, protecting the city from floods after cloudbursts.

The best solution is not always the most expensive: Svendborg’s cloudburst protection is living proof of this. During heavy rain, the municipality’s water management solution retains water from heavy rain and cloudbursts in an area of a forest nearby where the water can slowly permeate the ground. This system helps to prevent the stream running through the city from overflowing its banks and causing a flood.

A Natural Protection Against Flood Risks

As a place surrounded by water, Lemvig Municipality is showing the rest of the country what a climate-proofed seafront harbour could look like.

Thyborøn in Lemvig Municipality is among the most vulnerable Danish cities when it comes to coastal flooding, as the city is surrounded by water. The municipality has therefore initiated a number of projects to future-proof the city against rising sea levels, stronger rainstorms, land subsidence and elevated groundwater levels. In order to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges, Lemvig Municipality is developing a dynamic climate adaptation model, using geophysical mapping as well as satellite surveillance of land subsidence and rising water levels. The model is expected to be completed in 2022.

Keeping People Safe and Dry from Rising Sea Levels

Coast to Coast Climate Challenge (C2C CC) is a knowledge platform and a series of projects for climate adaptation running across multiple Danish municipalities.

The 31 partners of Coast to Coast Climate Challenge (C2C CC) have joined forces to create a climate-resilient region at the forefront of handling the consequences of climate change. Crossing municipal and regional borders, the project represents a unique example of collaboration, coordination and knowledge sharing about a communal climate change adaptation agenda.

Partnership Accelerates Climate Change Adaptation

In Fredericia, climate-proofing is an extensive and innovative project that is addressing climate change challenges through integrating recreational value in project planning.

Fredericia Municipality is in the process of transforming the center’s former industrial area into an attractive new canal city which will protect the harbor and city center against the rising sea level and storm surges. The canals will open the historic fortress town up to the water, creating a lively neighborhood with direct access to the sea.

Jutland’s First Climate-proof Canal City