RESIST Denmark

RESIST Engages with Planning Professionals on Flood-Resilient Building Solutions 

The RESIST Project partners attended a training event for Danish planning professionals in Lemvig, Central Denmark Region, on Thursday, 16 November. The purpose of the visit was to share knowledge about flood resilience principles at the building level and gather insights from participating authority professionals. RESIST partners aimed to enhance the process of designing two small-scale buildings that exemplify flood resilience, a key aspect delivered by the RESIST partners in the Central Region of Denmark.

Being close to the sea presents both a hazard and an asset to human life and activity. In Lemvig, where RESIST has planned building sites, this reality is more pronounced than in most other places. Lemvig has a history of flooding, and the bay, which occasionally poses a threat to the lower part of the town, was visible during the training event through the panorama glazing in the Danish Climate Centre Klimatorium.

Organised by the Danish Coastal Authority, a partner of RESIST, the event aimed to educate municipal planning professionals from across Denmark on the technical aspects of planning for flood resilience. RESIST Danish partners from VIA University College, the Central Denmark Region, and the Danish Coastal Authority attended to share knowledge and gather insights from participating planning professionals. Perspectives of lot owners and citizens regarding flood hazards were collected, potentially informing and enriching the development of the RESIST project.

RESIST partners set up a booth with visual material showcasing flood-resilient building solutions, inspiring dialogue with participants. Throughout the day, there were opportunities for debate and knowledge-sharing, with many insights presented to the partners that could enhance the practical relevance of the project.

Key Takeaways from the Dialogue 

Flood hazards affecting a broad range of public interests are often most efficiently addressed through community-based physical resilience interventions, typically on a landscape or urban level. However, in some situations, communities may lack the priority or financial resources to intervene, leaving lot owners to decide whether to take their own precautions on a smaller scale or to abandon further development.

The event discussion highlighted that, even without protection from civic resilience measures, landowners might still choose to build near water if the benefits of proximity to water are clear despite the flood risks. In most cases, building-level flood resilience measures will form a substantial part of a robust response to dealing with flood hazards.

Participants discussed how municipal authorities can assist lot owners in improving flood resilience, not just financially. Legislation on resilient construction principles was considered a way to ensure property resilience, though municipal-level implementation poses some obstacles, as pointed out in the dialogue. Municipalities can support lot owners’ decision-making for resilient solutions in other ways, such as developing internal catalogues of resilient solutions for communication with planning applicants and developers.

The debate pointed out the challenges in the continued development of attractive, flood-prone areas. For instance, building by a river in a densely developed urban town centre, where the risk of flooding is already visible, poses challenges. In such central locations, municipal authorities may be interested in playing a more active role in integrating resilient building solutions into the area’s development, potentially through a local planning framework.

The event takeaways support the further development of the RESIST demonstrator buildings by incorporating the perspectives of both lot owners and planning authorities. Both viewpoints contribute to understanding the scope of relevance of the specific building-level flood resilience solutions showcased in the project.