Case study: A new dike and a coastal path

Location of the case study

South of Copenhagen, Denmark

Description of the application

With just around 14,000 inhabitants, Dragør is one of the smallest municipalities in Denmark. Situated on the southern tip of the Amager island, Dragør lies only 12km from Copenhagen City Hall Square and close to Copenhagen Airport. The land is generally flat and woodless here, except for a state-owned forest, Kongelunden, in the western part of the municipality. Dragør is therefore particularly vulnerable to rises in sea level, storm surge events, and to some extent also extreme rainfall. Climate change adaptation became a priority for Dragør when the 2007 local government reform transferred responsibility for open-countryside planning to the municipality. Moreover, there were plans to increase the height of the dike protecting West Amager, and this would also influence the future dike in Dragør. Climate change adaptation was therefore incorporated in the planning strategy from as early as 2007. In 2009, the municipality introduced its climate strategy, and in May 2010 a municipal development plan was adopted which included a green/blue plan. Thus, the Municipality of Dragør was well prepared when, in 2012, the Government and Local Government Denmark required all municipalities to prepare climate change adaptation plans. The new dike has increased the dike by approximately 2 metres. From 2007 to 2012, the drainage association Vestamager Pumpedigelag reinforced the existing 7-kilometer-long coastal dike from Kalvebod Commons to Kongelunden on West Amager (known as the Kalvebod Dike). As a result, the Øresund motorway, the Øresund rail link, the Metro and the residential areas in Ørestad and Tårnby are now less vulnerable to storms and increased sea levels in Køge Bay.

lessons learned

The project is an example of an initiative that will become necessary in order to climate-proof large community values. The project has also created a great opportunity to open a coastal path on the old dike. The dike protects city areas, urban infrastructure and nature. The new dike is a good example of how climate protection and coastal protection can be integrated with other green and recreational purposes.


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Implementation costs (Show all)

10.000-100.000 €

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Served purpose of implementation (Show all)

Strongly Positive

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Real Case Study

Last modified: Dec. 20, 2016, 2:15 p.m.