The WATERWAY project shows new ways of using roads in climate adaptation which also create living and sustainable streets. In Middelfart, the pilot project in Søndergade was inaugurated in the autumn of 2016. Here is everyday rainfall and cloud bursts are led into waterways instead of into the sewer.

In November 2016, then Mayor, Steen Dahlstrøm, inaugurated the new Søndergade in Middelfart. A street that is now adapted to climate change with new pavements and waterways running along the street which makes rainwater visible and adds playfulness and life to the urban space. The project is one of two pilot projects that pave the way for new utilisation of roads in climate adaptation while improving the atmosphere of streets.


Newly developed road system

The WATERWAY is one of the solutions that Realdania supports through the campaign "Klimaspring" whose purpose is to promote smart solutions on offer in the climate adaptation of towns and cities. The WATERWAY means the end of uncontrolled floods and roads left under water. The WATERWAY removes small and large amounts of rainwater, using tailormade waterways and a different road profile. The solution focuses on accessibility and aesthetics in relation to creating better and more functional streets.

Søndergade now consists of a recently developed street system that leads rainwater from streets, pavements and rooftops to waterways running along the side of the street instead of into the sewers. The new street system, THE WATERWAY, was developed in a collaboration of companies from the road, water and architectural industries with the aim of providing solutions to several challenges in one design.


Visible water management and attractive streets

The new waterways and surfacing has given Søndergade an inviting and exciting expression. It is now possible to follow the path of the rainwater from it hitting the street or leaving a drainpipe until it reaches the end of the street. A change in the cross section of the street ensures that the water from cloudbursts is now kept and managed at street level avoiding damage to the old buildings along the street. The waterways are located along the northern pavement and vary in character according to the use of the street. The channels are alternately covered with a lid of perforated weathering steel, open with running water or planted with perennials and tall grasses. It all contributes to a lush and aesthetic expression in Søndergade.


About the project partners

With the support of Realdania, the WATERWAY was developed in an interdisciplinary collaboration between consulting engineering and environmental company EnviDan A/S, road construction contractor Colas Danmark A/S and landscape architects Schulze+Grassov. Additional participants were Thisted Fjerritslev Cementvarefabrik A / S, Middelfart Municipality, Middelfart Spildevand A/S, Skanderborg Municipality and Skanderborg Forsyningsvirksomhed A/S.

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