Open surface runoff management in the Augustenborg neighbourhood in Malmö

An open surface runoff system was introduced in Augustenborg at the end of the 1990s in order to deal with regular flooding of cellars. There have been no floods since then, despite heavy rain. The measures were part of an extensive project to renovate the neighbourhood and make it environmentally sustainable

Prior to the reconstruction, the surface runoff system in Augustenborg had been a combined sewerage system in which surface runoff and waste water from households were mixed in a single pipe. The system was too small and the dirty water was forced up through the floor drains in cellars every time there was heavy rain.

Att anlägga kanalerna och dammarna i den befintliga miljön var utmanande men kunde utformas så att d
Att anlägga kanalerna och dammarna i den befintliga miljön var utmanande men kunde utformas så att de tillförde estetiskt värde till utemiljön. I bilden syns en dagvattendamm som anlagts på en innergård.

Protection against flooding in the event of heavy rain

An extensive project to renovate the neighbourhood and make it environmentally sustainable was started in a partnership between the municipal housing company, the City of Malmö and several other actors. The biggest change in the urban environment was the transition to an open surface runoff system. This was chosen as the most environmentally and economically beneficial solution to the flooding problem.

The surface runoff system consists of ponds, channels and a number of green roofs that have been integrated into the existing environment. The surface runoff system retards and stores rain water so that it can then slowly run into a nearby watercourse.

The surface runoff system is adapted to the current climate, as well as being designed with a margin of safety. There was a period of heavy rain in summer 2007 the like of which only occurs twice every 100 years. The rain paralysed parts of Malmö when access roads flooded, but Augustenborg coped without any problems. This indicates that the neighbourhood is well-equipped to cope with a future climate in which rain of this type becomes more common.

Financing of Augustenborg’s open surface runoff system

The cost of building an open surface runoff system in Augustenborg amounted to around SEK 35 million when the work was conducted between 1998 and 2002. The project was financed mainly by the City of Malmö and the municipal companies concerned, but also received central government support from the then local investment programme (LIP) and the EU programme LIFE.

More examples of climate adaptation

This is one of many examples of climate adaptation. There are more in the collection of ideas being built up by the Swedish National Knowledge Centre for Climate Change Adaptation at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI). The collection of examples has the aim of sharing experiences and providing ideas to everyone who works with climate adaptation. Examples describe concrete measures and challenges in several subject areas. They show how different actors have worked to adapt their activities to the climate changes that are already being noticed today and those that we cannot prevent in the future.