Something is different about the Tåsinge Plads park in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Bordered by newly planted trees and flowers, this environmentally conscious park is designed to host outdoor and sporting events when it is dry outside, and alternately, collects water during heavy rains.
As rainfall occurs, the flowerbeds collect water that will drain only after the storm runoff diminishes. Upside-down umbrella-shaped statues collect water to be used for watering the new plants surrounding the park. Landscaping features direct stormwater into huge water storage tanks underground that reside below bouncy floor panels. As children bounce on these panels, the energy created pumps water through the pipes below.
Before the Tåsinge Plads became a park, it primarily functioned as an asphalt parking lot. The one small grassy area near was mostly utilized by dogs. But now the park functions both as a safe place for people to gather outside, and as the starting point for the world’s first “climate resilient neighborhood.”
More parks are being modeled after this one to deliberately form small ponds, capturing water, keeping it there on site as drainage systems are developed and put into place to handle the water capacity.
Tåsinge Plads is located in the Saint Kjelds area of Copenhagen. Eventually, this area will be equipped to endure heavy rainfall and flooding — even welcome it. The original plan comes from an idea drawn up by Tredje Natur, a Copenhagen-based landscape architecture firm. Flemming Rafn Thomsen, of Tredje Natur, one of its founding partners, has stated that the park is a prime example of how the task of assimilating to climate change may be transformed from an extremely negative thing into a potentially positive one.
“Water is used as a resource to improve urban life… We look at Copenhagen as a hybrid city where you can fuse nature, urban biology, and human beings in a more appropriate balance.”