City of Bikes
Copenhagen, Denmark – 16 August 2021 – Wetskills Challenge Day 2
By Marsha Tack (Wageningen University & Research)
Starting the workweek, also starting the official part of the Wetskills program in Copenhagen. Since most of us are Dutchies or Dutch based internationals (or just love to cycle) we were very enthusiastic to getting to know the city by bike! We cycled to the Enghaveparken were we got a Walk&Talk with Matias Hede, a young water professional working for the Municipality of Copenhagen. The Park is multifunctional and can also be used as a retention basin. Enghaveparken is 1 of the 300 projects in the cloudburst plan of Copenhagen. Underneath the park is a basin in which every day rain can be stored up to 2,000 m^3; but the on-surface storage can fill up to 24,000 m^3. It was very impressive that a technical solution of retaining water can look this pretty and have added value. According to Mattias it is like walking into a restroom; the main purpose is that the toilet flushes, but the success is if it looks nice.
We continued our bike-ride to the Scandiagade; also, a project in the cloudburst plan in which rainwater of a residential area is retained in garden sections.
We looped around in the neighborhood and visited an inner garden, which is a privately owned shared garden were the rainwater pipes are disconnected from the sewer system. A creative and beautiful way to add value by adapting to climate change!
Afterwards we had a short lunchbreak stop at the university and we already could see our working places for the coming week.
Our trip continued along the snake bike-lane towards the harbor. Maj-Britt explained that the bridges connect different parts of the city and are there to improve long-distance biking. Personally, I enjoy biking, but my big passion is swimming! Unfortunately, the weather was a bit rainy and the temperature a bit low, but I am definitely going to swim in a harbor swimming pool later this week! Decades ago, the water in the harbor was polluted by sewer overflows. Now the treatment plants are obligated to retain more wastewater or increase there treatment plant. Therefore, the quality of the water is improved so it is often clean to swim in one of the harbor baths.
After the company visit, we were planning to go to a climate adaptation project. But it started to rain, and we went to Coffee&Cheesecake instead. They claimed that they have the best cheesecake in town, and they really have! If you ever visit Copenhagen, make a stop there 😊
Lastly we met with Young Water Professionals at the Kayak Bar. The young water professionals is a youth network program of the international water association. In regional groups the organize professional and social events to stimulate a young water network; since we are the CEO’s of the future! The Netherlands doesn’t have a local chapter yet, but we Wetskills alumni might be able to change that 🙂