Water and Sewage
Green Blue
Buildings & land use
Project Summary Project Description Application of Tools Opinion of Tools Decision making process Contact Details

Opinion of tools

Name der Fallstudie
Harbour bathing in Copenhagen
Hafen-Bäder in Kopenhagen

Name of tool

Opinion of tool - argumentation for choosing the tool
The Copenhagen EPA took the decision of using MOUSE. The tool was already being used, but for other purposes.

Opinion of tool - barriers for the tool implementation
There were no barriers for implementing the tool.

Name of tool

Opinion of tool - argumentation for choosing the tool
Copenhagen EPA was already using the MIKE-model for a number of other purposes, and had adapted the model specific for the Copenhagen harbour. DHI uses a similar MIKE-model, adapted for the Baltic Sea. Using data from this model makes it possible to define the border conditions and the currents in Copenhagen harbour. Combining these data with data for volume and bacteria concentrations from the detention basins makes it possible to calculate the concentration of bacteria different places in the harbour. The model calculates the concentration for each 20 meters in the harbour.

Opinion of tool - barriers for the tool implementation
There were no barriers for implementing the tool.

Opinion of tool - assessment by tool users
The improvements from using the models are the whole basis for being able to establish the bathing in Copenhagen, as it enables a fast, reliable and cheap way to predict the water quality. The alternative to this tool would have been to take sample tests of the polluted water after the overflow, take it to the laboratory and analyse it for e-coli. This would take app. 3 days, and would be very expensive. It would also be less precise, as the results from the tests would point to the quality of the water three days ago. Moreover, it would be a very time consuming and more expensive way to examine the water quality. To keep the model calibrated and updated, tests are still done regularly.

There are a number of spin-offs from improving the water quality to make it possible to bathe. Ever since it has been established, it has become a widely-used symbol for the environmental policy in the municipality, and for the Copenhagen EPA. Pictures of bathing people in the harbour is a more tangible example of environmental improvements, compared to other improvements, for instance concerning CO2-reductions. The initiative has even given Copenhagen international attention.

There have been little disagreements between the actors involved on making it possible to bathe in the harbour and investing the money necessary for it. In the beginning of the process there was some arguing with the national EPA, who did not believe it would be possible to turn the water to bathing quality (as described in the Water Area plan from 1992). The question of whether the money spent at the detention basins could have been used in a better way in relation to environmental improvements has not been a big issue. For Copenhagen Water (today Copenhagen Energy) the alternative would have been to use the investments to secure the sewer pipes, i.e. to avoid outlets from them. It is, however estimated that the situation is "under control", i.e. that at the end of the planning period all sewer pipes will be inspected and renovated where necessary (interview, Copenhagen Energy).

The main lessons from this case:
? The model tools have enabled bathing in the harbour. Using the model is a cheaper, better and faster way to estimate the quality of the water, than test samples
? Tangible environmental results can have a high priority which assessment tools might not be able to value, as the benefits achieved goes beyond quantitative environmental measures.

As more detention basins are built along the harbour in Copenhagen, more bathing places will probably be established. Besides the two bathing places in the central harbour of Copenhagen (Islands Brygge (2002 and Copencabana 2003), there are plans for establishing bathing places at Svanem?ugten (2009) and at Kalveboderne (2013). This will, however, partly depend on whether the neighbour municipalities are willing to co-invest in improvements of the Damhus奮s sewage treatment plant, a jointly owned plant between Copenhagen and other municipalities. Moreover, fishing in the harbour might also be allowed due to the improved water quality. However, there are some preconditions for establishing the harbour bath in Copenhagen, besides from the industries having moved out of the harbour. One natural precondition is the strong water-current through the harbour, running between K?ugt and زesund, which avoids stagnant water. Also, the water in زesund is very clean, with a sight-depth on up to 16 meters. Another precondition is that the city historically has always had a high standard of its sewer systems, since the first sewage system was established 150 years ago.

The tools MIKE and MOUSE are well known and quite commonly used in water management.

Opinion of tool - reviewer\'s assessment
The case shows that these tools ? although they do not claim directly to be sustainability tools ? can be very important parts in the transformation to urban sustainability. The case also demonstrates how an unpredicted decision-making process can lead to a highly appreciated tangible environmental result.

Welche Tools wurden verwendet, um Nachhaltigkeit zu beurteilen?



Weiterführende Informationen (nur auf Englisch):

Für den vollständigen Bericht hier klicken (pdf)