Storm Surge in Vejle

Communicating urban strategies at eye-level

Client: Vejle Municipality
Our role: Design
Location: Vejle, Denmark
Year: June 2020
Status: Completed

The city of Vejle is one of 14 coastal areas in Denmark particularly vulnerable to extreme flooding during storm surges. Vejle municipality has developed a storm surge strategy called “Storm Surge That Grows With the City” - an ambitious plan with the long term objective of adapting and securing the city in the face of climate change and future storm surge events.

In order to gain both public and political support it has been crucial to communicate the issue. There is a need to both educate and alert the public of the risks of storm surge. Storm surge itself, however, is a complex phenomenon and the need to invest large sums in urban development projects today for the flooding events of the future can be difficult to understand.

To this end the municipality has worked with a community engagement strategy. As a part of this strategy arki_lab has designed Vejle Urban Lab, the physical platform for both communication and public events. The installation is located on the North Quay in the harbour area.

The design concept is built on the rising water level and uses both verbal and visual communication. The blue colours are used to signal different water levels during storm surge events, reaching 2, 2,5 and 3 meter above normal sea level - the scenarios that form the basis of the storm surge strategy. The text and graphics are mainly communicated on 3 towers and is developed for both adults and children, involving a treasure hunt. Crabs, rock formations, sand and eelgrass are all integrated into the installation, communicating natural elements crucial to maintain the local marine environment and reduce wave formations. Further, Artist Regitze Engelsborg Karlsen has created 3 art pieces about the city's relation to water which are exhibited in the installation.

You will be able to find Vejle Urban Lab on the harbour until the end of October 2020.

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