Ambitious flood-defence plan would turn Copenhagen into a lagoon

Artificial islands and a dyke and lock system will tackle population growth and flood risk

Building new districts of Copenhagen on artificial islands to form a flood defence could be the answer to rising water levels and population growth. The ambitious plan has been proposed by the architectural firm Polyform and Copenhagen Municipality is taking it seriously, the engineering publication Ingeniøren reports.

“It’s actually quite simple. We can develop Copenhagen in a way that has never been done before by creating an artificial islet,” Jonas Sangberg and Thomas Kock, architects at Polyform, explained.

Joining Venice and London
Although it sounds far-fetched, the principles of the plan have already been used in the capital, according to the architects. “Large parts of inner Copenhagen and Christianshavn are built on man-made islets,” they said.

“It’s also on this kind of area that the new districts in Copenhagen’s Nordhavn are being developed, and here the old artificial islets will get company from a number of completely new islets where homes will be built.”

If the idea is realised, surplus earth from building projects in the city would be used to create a dyke and lock system from Nordhavn to Trekroner fort, along Amager’s east coast and down to Avedøre.

This would allow the whole harbour area to be closed off in the case of storm flooding like in the style of Venice’s flood defences or the Thames Barrier. The areas of land created would be usable for development.