Extreme, climate-related weather events are expected to occur more frequently and be more extensive in the coming decades. In the report Planning for Climate Adaptation, Sweco’s experts highlight what is needed to plan and design safe and climate-adapted future urban environments. The insights do not only concern large cities – even smaller towns inland and along coasts need to adapt to the climate. An example is Falsterbonäset, where Sweco has long had various assignments to secure the area.
New mission with flood defenses
With its coastal location, Falsterbonäset is threatened by storms and an ongoing slow rise in sea level due to climate change. Great values and housing are at risk of being lost. For several years, Sweco has had various assignments for Vellinge municipality in the process of adapting Falsterbonäset to the climate. After having developed an action plan together with the municipality, the work for our climate experts is now continuing. The new assignment concerns detailed design of a flood protection in the form of a protective wall around the nose.
– Falsterbonäset is a good example of local climate adaptation. Skåne is low-lying with a lot of coast, so here you have seen early on what the rise in sea level has for consequences and acted. The sooner you act and develop action plans, the more time you have and can therefore have a broad and early citizen dialogue about how climate adaptations should go, says Mattias Goldmann, head of sustainability at Sweco.
Positive added value important
Visualizing so that it becomes clear to residents in the area what the adaptations are intended to look like, and reinforcing them with positive added value, is also a key to success in the work. Like making a walking trail or a bike path on a flood embankment, or developing the biodiversity on the site. This contributes to a cost and utilization efficiency that is also necessary in times of tight economy and reduced appropriations.
The way forward for municipalities and business
– It is important to move forward at full speed now, both in terms of climate adaptation and emission reduction. Reduced emissions do not solve the climate adaptation that is needed. On the other hand, it can be a positive cycle if, for example, a flood embankment also becomes a cycle path, so that more people take the cycle. The business community is also beginning to realize that they too must work with climate adaptation. If you have a business by water that can be flooded, or near a large forest that can be affected by fire, proactivity and an action plan are needed to secure the company and working environment, says Mattias Goldmann.