Updated 26.07.22 |
Ulla Michael

Photo credit: Carsten Ingemann

sØnæs is a recreational, public park established in the southern part of Viborg on an area which was previously used as football fields. The area is designed by Møller & Grønborg Architects in close collaboration with Orbicon, Energy Viborg Water, Viborg Municipality and local citizens.

The Climate Park’s combined Rainwater Management, Recreational Areas and Treatment Pond have increased the marketing value, reduced the flooding costs and increased the interest in living in Viborg Municipality.

Rainwater Management & Identity

According to VANDPLUS, the large treatment pond collects large volumes of water and reduces the discharge of phosphorus and nitrogen to the nearby Søndersø lake and reduces the risk of flooding. Moreover, it protects the low-lying buildings around sØnæs against a 100-year rain event. At the same time, it has provided the city with a new park for being together, nature experiences and learning about climate adaptation. 

Recreation & Urban Life

The citizens of Viborg have really embraced the park. According to VANDPLUS, an average of 75 people visited the area on weekend days in 2013, and after the establishment in 2015, the park has had 1500 visitors a day. Moreover, the number of cyclists is five times higher than i 2013 on weekdays and 15 times higher on weekends. The massive activity and positive mention at #sønæs on Instagram show how both locals and many visitors use the park any time of the year.

...[We] are pleased to see the added value of the urban park which clearly shows from the way in which users have welcomed the area. No matter the weather, there are always people in the area around sØnæs.” Jørgen Jørgensen, Head of Nature and Water, Viborg Municipality, VANDPLUS 2015


In addition to the new-found marketing value and reduced flooding costs, an increased interest is seen in buying homes close to sØnæs in the residential area sØnæshave, and a future housing project is named after the area. This is the conclusion by VANDPLUS in their publication ‘Evaluering og præsentation af VANDPLUS-projektet sØnæs’ (Evaluation and presentation of the VANDPLUS project sØnæs) from 2015.

‘We already now see a major interest from people who want to buy homes close to sØnæs. sØnæs has added great enjoyment value to the area, so there is no doubt that the climate project will affect the sale of homes in the area.’ Lene Christensen, Client for sØnæshave, Bach Gruppen, VANDPLUS 2015

Photo of sØnæs by Møller & Grønborg Architects. Photo credit: Carsten Ingemann.
Photo credit: Carsten Ingemann

About the Case

In addition to protecting the sewers in the neighbourhood against cloudburst, sØnæs reduces the discharge of phosphorus and nitrogen to the nearby Søndersø lake and the risk of flooding. The technical facilities have deliberately been made visible with intense architectural planning and double functions, and recreational experiences have been created that relate to the narrative about the place.

The soft undulating terrain, with its beautiful nature characteristics, changes with the rainwater volume, from a large green island to a landscape of lakes. The citizens of Viborg have welcomed the blue-green park which is used for different activities, from rehabilitation for disabled people, picnic and parkour, teaching about climate adaptation for educational institutions and businesses.

Read more about the case