The City of Sønderborg repeatedly had problems with flooding due to heavy rain. In September 2012, the utility company Sønderborg Forsyning therefore started to build five rain gardens which were to delay the rainwater from cloudbursts and help to prevent future flooding. Instead of direct rainwater to the sewer, the rainwater was used as a resource to create a recreational area in the common backyard of the quarter of Digterkvarteret.
The new gardens called Digterhaven (The Five Gardens) in Digterkvarteret are part of Sønderborg Forsyning’s work on climate adaptation, so that schools and traffic in the area do not have to be put out of operation when it is raining cats in the municipality.
Stronger and more frequent rain has become part of everyday life, and repeated flooding at the roads Skovvej and Grundtvigsallé led to the idea of ’The Five Gardens’, which store and delay rainwater in Digterkvarteret while providing a recreational area.
The Five Gardens
The gardens have been constructed as five coherent basins, each with its planting character, and five areas with hills for various activities for both children and adults.
Sønderborg Forsyning, the Municipality of Sønderborg and Sweco in Denmark collaborated on the project.
“The rain gardens in Digterkvarteret are a good model for future solutions to the climate changes we are experiencing. Here, we have a solution to several problems, and we do not have to dig large holes in the ground.”, Director Lars B. Riemann from Sønderborg Forsyning says and continues:
“From having an unused grassland, the residents, schools and institutions near Digterkvarteret now have got an attractive area with plenty of opportunities whose primary function is in fact climate change adaptation towards the rising rainfall.”
“This project is a good example of how we can create solutions to problems while developing a local area to become more attractive. Many other utility companies and municipalities in Denmark and abroad can be inspired by the project when they need to make climate change adaptation and delay rainwater.”, Project Manager Mads V. Thomsen from Sweco says.