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R&D Project

Climate change adaptation

Flood prevention

Nature based solutions


Waterway – street design for stormwater management

16. June 2017

Solution provider


We are a multi-skilled urban design studio shaping public space around the world. We specialise in urban design projects that strengthen communities with the aim of facilitating a new blueprint for urban life.

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Streets constitute a significant share of the total surface area of Danish cities. In terms of elevation, they literally form the bottom line. Streets are therefore essential to our experience of public space, and they are a key component in adapting our cities to climate change, including recurring storms and flash floods.

Schulze+Grassov wants to contribute to solving the challenge of stormwater and flooding, and at the same time improve the quality of public space.


Under contract with Denmark’s Realdania Foundation under the Danish Klimaspring initiative Schulze+Grassov has developed an innovative street design solution which is also a stormwater management system for climate adaptation. We are calling the solution “Waterways”.

During flash floods our Waterways solution provides additional water retention capacity, potentially reducing flooding damage to public and private property. With Waterways the water ecology will become a visible and value-generating part of the street. Additionally, the design is improving the quality of public space also by offering seating and plantings.

Schulze+Grassov’s climate adaptation systems have been developed in close collaboration with engineers within water technology, a manufacturer of precast storm-water drainage channels, and contractors.

Working creatively with streets in urban environments we have sought to turn a problem into an opportunity for growth and innovation.


Schulze+Grassov has designed and built one of the flagship pilot projects under the programme; the transformation of Søndergade in Middelfart, Denmark, into a Waterway.

The street is repaved and fitted with the new stormwater drainage system that was researched and developed by Schulze+Grassov, and a team of engineers, manufacturers, and contractors.

The developed system increases the street’s capacity for handling and retaining large amounts of rainwater during times of extreme precipitation. On normal days the system also provides new attractive sidewalk seating and plantings.

The project improves the quality of people’s experience of the street; delivering the goal of Klimaspring to create better cities through climate adaptation.

Søndergade Waterway

Middelfart, Denmark