The Climate Tile, Copenhagen, Denmark
Third Nature

Climate change is pushing the boundaries in our cities. The Climate Tile is a scalable climate adaptation tool that rethinks sidewalks as water management systems. The main component is essentially a hybrid between a concrete tile, an intelligent water pipe system and a permeable surface. The tile’s purpose is to positively answer the climate change challenges, whilst creating new adventures and green, urban spaces in our cities.
Technically the Climate Tile can bypass 30% of the rain to avoid overloading cities existing infrastructure. By being a positive addition to cities’ drainage system the damages caused by heavy rain are highly reduced, while the need for rainwater filtering decreases.
The Climate Tile is 795 x 620 mm and is organized with a modular system where you can replace one tile instead of digging up an entire sidewalk. The tile allows the water to run down into an integrated and underground water handling system. The tiles are peppered with a system of holes, tunnels and ridges that collect and manage rainwater, funnelling it away from sidewalks - where it can cause damage - to a preferred use like irrigating nearby plantings. The system reintroduces the natural water circuit and urban microclimate comfort by using trees directly as hydraulic recipients.
The multiple million sidewalks across the world are not designed to handle climate challenges or integrate a green environment – the climate tile changes that. It is developed with the ambition of having a great potential in Denmark and on an international basis. Because of the modular system, it can adapt to different contexts and create various urban spaces. The urban spaces interior can adapt to local needs and demands for a variety of human activity. It can reintroduce nature into the streets, by making space for wild plants and trees. It can also be formed as different gathering places with integrated furniture. The holes at the tile’s surface can be used in different variations. It can be made bigger to contain plug functions used in urban spaces. Furthermore, using milling the tile can be designed with different functional surfaces, that guide blind people in the right direction, mark different zones in the sidewalk, directions, create paths etc. 
The 4-year product development phase of the Climate Tile has been made possible due to grants from Market Development Fund and Realdania’s "Klimaspring" campaign. Heimdalsgade on Nørrebro in Copenhagen is going to be the first stretch in the world where a new sidewalk system is about to be tested spring/summer 2018. The expectation is that the full-scale industrial production is in place within the next 12 months.
The Climate Tile is developed by THIRD NATURE with support from ACO Nordic and IBF. Kollesion, Orbicon and The Technological Institute have also been a part of the development project.
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