email print

Case study – Kalundborg

Read about the citizen's summit in Kalundborg

The study area (14.000 hectare) includes a peninsula (Reersø), a large lake Tissø  (1233 hectare), a large near-shore and low-lying summer cottage area and also permanent habitation, large agricultural areas, nature resorts, ground- and surfacewater interests, tourist and cultural assets. Further more the land behind the coastline has delta-like characters which makes the area vulnerable to extreme weather conditions. Also the area includes infrastructur such as roads, sewerages, water supply and draining assets. The case study area has a coastline and lowland, which are threaten by rising of the sea level and changes in precipitation.

This in all makes the pilot area eminent to illustrate different climate change impacts scenarios including the balancing between different interests according to climate change adaptation and implementation of the EU flood directive, the water frame directive and the habitat directive.


The case study is collaboration between The Municipality of Kalundborg, The Danish Border of Technology (DBT) and Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).

The Municipality of Kalundborg contributes to the partnership through involvement from the EU-Office, the Planning, Building & Environment Department and by being subject to the case study having a hands-on interaction between stakeholders and public spatial planners as well as politicians.


DBT will head the process of developing the stakeholder dialogue methodology focused at climate change impacts and local implementation of adaptation measures. DBT will educate staff and provide support for partners carrying out local scenario workshops. The scenario workshop has first been carried out in Kalundborg and subsequently adjusted and transferred to other partner countries. The scenario workshop in Kalundborg has been followed up by a citizens’ summit. Read more about the citizen's summit

The DBT will prepare a manual for a course to local planners on how to carry out scenario workshops on climate change adaptation. This will be demonstrated at a dissemination seminar for local planners and administrative staff from the partner countries.

GEUS will provide scientific data and backup for the two other Danish partners (Kalundborg Municipality and Danish Board of Technology). GEUS will perform simulations with integrated hydrological models (incl. groundwater/surface water interaction) based on results from climate change and green house gas emission scenarios selected by the project. These simulations will demonstrate threats to human and environmental health, and the need for protection strategies in areas selected in cooperation with Kalundborg Municipality, the Danish Board of Technology and the regional authority "Environment Centre Nykøbing". The investigations will include flooding, groundwater quantity/quality, and associated ecosystem issues in case study areas and relate the findings to the relevant EU directives adopted for protection of human and environmental health. GEUS will perform investigations in two catchments on the islands "Zealand" and "Falster" located in the western part of the Baltic Sea.



* GEUS produced calculations that describes the consequences of the increasing precipitation and rising sea level in the case area. (Spring and summer 2009)

* Kalundborg Municipality and The Danish Board of Technology hosted a two-day scenario workshop that presented local stakeholders to different future scenarios and allowed the stakeholders to develop different visions of how to deal with climate change in the future. (The 21st of October and the 11th of November)

* Kalundborg Municipality hosted the 1st International BaltCICA Conference

* The Danish Board of Technology and Kalundborg Municipality has held a citizen summit where 350 citizens debated how Kalundborg Municipality should adapt to the climate changes. The purpose of the summit was to present different ways of handling climate change in the case area (inspired by the visions from the scenario workshop) to the citizens and make them vote for their favourite approach. Knowing what the citizens want will allow decision-makers to make a more informed decision.

Scenario workshop:

During the scenario workshop the following scenarios where presented to local stakeholders. The three future scenarios represents three fundamentally different ways of responding to climate changes:


A basic scenario or “laissez-faire” scenario based on the assumption that it is not possible to do anything special in advance to alleviate the impact of the future climate changes beyond what is economically achievable. Initiatives will be taken ad hoc.


A so-called “protection scenario” based on an attempt to protect all of the region's interests as much as possible, including residential areas, infrastructure, commerce and agriculture against the consequences of future climate changes. Initiatives will be launched in order to protect existing interests even if this has negative consequences for the environment and nature.


A so-called “adaptation scenario” based on the need to attempt to adapt to future climate changes rather than fight against them. Current use of land will be re-evaluated and more space allocated to wetlands. The scenario also  assumes that we will give considerable consideration to our environment and nature.


The three future scenarios attempt to show what will happen when the region is exposed to an extreme, but not improbable, weather situation in addition to general climate change. The scenarios are fictional stories of the future, written by a fictional journalist at the local, fictional online newspaper. The stories take a journalist’s critically neutral stance. However, unavoidably, they are slightly subjective as the description is not scientific but a report of the situation seen through the eyes of an ordinary person.

During the scenario workshop the participating stakeholders created four visions that described various ways of dealing with climate changes. The visions spanned from turning existing farmland and built-on-areas into wetlands to the establishment of large dikes in order to protect those same areas. The economic, social and environmental consequences of the various visions proposed has been further examined and the results has formed the basis for a citizen summit about climate adaptation in Kalundborg Municipality.


Manual for scenario workshop (pdf, .2 mb)

Political process:

The process from IPCC scenarios to a concrete local adaptation plan has been as shown on this picture:


Open pdf

The IPCC scenarios have been downscaled to the case area. Based on this data three alternative future scenarios have been developed. These scenarios have been presented to local stakeholders who discussed how to plan for a changing climate during a scenario workshop. The different proposals from the scenario workshop was then thoroughly analyzed and this analysis was an important input to the citizen summit where 350 local citizens discussed and voted on how Kalundborg Municipality should act regarding climate change adaptation. Based on the output of the citizen summit a climate change adaptation plan has been made. It is to be approved in the beginning of 2012 and then fully implemented.