Streets ahead in Copenhagen...

Thursday 19 Oct 2017

The citizens of Copenhagen are going to walk on water

Heimdalsgade on Nørrebro in Copenhagen, Denmark is going to be the first street in the world to pioneer a new rainwater managing sidewalk system. The climate tile is designed for future sidewalks and urban spaces, and aims to handle the effects from the climate changes while creating new adventures in a city.

Copenhagen has more than 700 kilometres of sidewalks, the sidewalks are now going to be used for more than just walking. They will be become an active part of the climate adaptation programme and used to collect and handle the increasing amount of rainwater -and thereby easing the problems with flooding in the cities.

The Climate Tile is a modular system that allows the water to run down into an integrated and underground water handling system. The sidewalks retains its fundamental function but will also provide and add opportunity to bring the city a number of new qualities and functions. The water management system can connect to a series of urban elements, such as vegetation and water-and playground equipment that can motivate activities, play and stay in the city whilst providing vibrant and natural urban spaces.

Grey becomes blue and green

The Climate Tile is designed by the architectural studio Third Nature (Tredje Natur), in collaboration with the Danish companies IBF and ACO, as an innovative climate adaptation solution targeted to  dense cities. The solution utilizes the climate challenges in a positive way as a driving force in the development of more robust, eventful and sustainable cities.

“We wish to show the world that climate proofing isn’t just hidden technology, but also a chance for everybody to participate in the improvement of our everyday spaces where we understand the city’s hidden connections and offer greater life quality. The Climate Tile is a solution that can ease the problems with rainwater that cannot get away, whilst creating more urban nature in our greystreets.” -Jeppe Ecklon, project manager, Third Nature

The new test sidewalk will be located at Heimdalsgade number 22-24 at Nørrebro in Copenhagen. The choosing of the location for the test sidewalk has been made in close collaboration with Copenhagen Municipality. Today it is a sad parking street where but with a great potential for testing the climate tile – both technically and with focus on the adventurous events.

“We are so happy that the test sidewalk for the Climate Tile is going to be built on our street. We have previously played with the thought of the possibility for a more active green outdoor space in front of the café. We think a new active street scape and more room for breaks and events is a great idea.” -Kim Tach, Co-owner of the café Heimdalsgade 22

Construction will start up late 2017 and will run until 2018. The new sidewalk will test the Climate Tile in proportion to function, design and performance. The climate tile will create opportunity for a 30% drainage of rainwater. This way we will not bring overload to the city’s existing infrastructure while the need for rainwater filtering will decrease.


The construction of the test sidewalk and the further development of the climate tile is made possible due to a grant from “Markedsmodingsfonden". Prior to this, the Climate tile have gone through a three-year product development process under Realdanias "Klimaspring" campaign, which aims to support the development of solutions for the management of rainwater in dense, existing urban areas.

"We are pleased that the Climate tile has reached this significant milestone and that 

'Markedsmodningsfonden' has seen the potential in co-finance the last -but vital -market maturation of the solution. The climate tile has great potential both at home and internationally-with miles of sidewalks in even the smallest and densest city," says Pelle Bournonville Lind, Project Manager, Realdania.

The expectation is that Climate tile can be introduced to the market in late 2018.


  • The Climate Tile is developed by TREDJE NATUR, ACO Nordic and IBF. Kollesion, Orbicon and The Technological Institute have also been a part of the development project.
  • The Climate Tile is developed as a part of Realdanias campaign –“Klimaspring” –that supports the development of new climate adapting technologies.
  • In spring 2014 a three year long product development course was started with funds from the campaign “Klimaspring” under Realdania. The total project frame was at 1.1 million USD.
  • The climate tile has been chosen to receive support from “Markedsmodningsfonden“ amongst 208 applicants.The project has been awarded 145000 USD in co-financing from the foundation to further development of the Climate Tile. The funds will support the fabrication and construction of a test sidewalk with the climate tile located on Nørrebro in Copenhagen – in collaboration with Copenhagen Municipality.
  • The Climate Tile is a combination of climate adaption and solutions for urban spaces and addresses utility companies, municipalities, building developers, housing associationsand road confederations.


Listen to WAN editor in chief Michael Hammond's podcast with Climate Tile


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