Ian: More than just a flood defence – how Vejle built a blueprint for resilience.  In The Guardian:

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Rotterdam

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Vejle, a city of just over 100,000 people in southern Denmark. …

Earlier this year, Vejle launched Europe’s first urban resilience strategy, which will see more than 100 city-wide initiatives – from cycle highways to flood-adapted neighbourhoods – rolled out over the next four years, in order to develop the city’s adaptability to future challenges. …

Vieje 2Vejle’s response to this challenge is fascinating in the context of the refugee crisis – a politically sensitive issue in Denmark as elsewhere in Europe. According to Kroustrup, the city is looking at immigration from a new perspective as a “step-up for the city to become a globalised society”, having been voted the best municipality for refugee integration in Denmark in 2012. …

In Vejle, protecting against climate, economic and social shocks takes on a very human form. Underlying all aspects of its resilience strategy is the mantra of “co-creation”, a bottom-up meets top-down approach that calls for collaboration between citizens and the municipality.

Vejle has identified three neighbourhoods that will be used as “laboratories” for experimenting with different resilience projects, from physical infrastructure, to community cohesion initiatives. A waterfront neighbourhood will become a test-bed for storm management and flood adaptation, of which a large portion will be integrated into everyday public spaces to enhance liveability – a technique already underway in citiesincluding Copenhagen – while another area with a large amount of social housing will become a laboratory for bottom-up community initiatives.