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2.3 Mappings for Urban Seascaping with seaweed in Vejle

Designers could help to address what are essentially spatial and organizational conflicts by translating these highly complex, intercon­nected issues into visual resources. New kinds of communicative drawings could emerge, analogous to those that organize terrestrial environments, but with an inherent temporal dimension. Though some may argue that mapping is not central to design, especially when it is focused on the ocean, this kind of deep, cross-disciplinary mapping is essential for understanding the climate changes ahead and our ocean’s potential role in addressing them.


Jeanne Gang, Claire Cahan and Sarah Kramer, Deep Mapping

(Gang, Cahan and Kramer, 2016, pp.87–88).

According to Langer (2014), navigational tools (i.e. mapping) and strategies help to successfully position and navigate design research within a dynamic relational spatial nexus of urban landscapes (Langner, 2019, p.50). In this research, this nexus refers to the boundary between land and sea in Vejle. Thus, the Kumu maps presented in this project have been specifically developed to provide a hybrid master map that curates and hosts various information within this context. Thus, the intention is to utilise these maps to conduct contextual deep site analyses that can develop a comprehensive reading of the complex characteristics of Danish seascapes qualities, all with the overarching aim of restoring marine ecologies as part of East Jutland’s future urban development.

     Three main Kumu maps were created (see Figure 43 and Table 2 for an overview), which became a method of analysis, review and exploration to answer the research questions and as a curatorial storytelling tool for research dissemination. The beauty of Kumu maps is that they are never meant to be completed but an ongoing process that can evolve in size and complexity with more inputs. The first Kumu map is used as a multiscalar master map to host, connect and arrange various scales that can relate to the immediate site in question (i.e. Vejle) and which can be applied to analyse the Kanten/The Edge competition design entries. Here, the Kumu maps are used as a detailed and elaborate site analysis showing the complex spatial relationships between the scales ranging from global to local. Each node hosts various mapping explorations and connections to other nodes (see section 2.3.1 for more details). The second Kumu map is a “state-of-the-art” (S-O-T-A) map that presents the different precedents nationally and worldwide (see section 2.3.2 for more details). The third Kumu map is the accumulation of the contents from the two maps into a timeline format with future scenarios to project design strategies for Vejle (see section 2.3.3 for more details). Table 2 below summarises the main purpose of each Kumu map developed for this research and the corresponding main categorisation of the nodes. The materials embedded into these nodes from the three maps have been extracted and represented throughout this monograph[107].



meso mapping DIAGRAM.jpg

Figure 43. There are three main Kumu maps. The main map is the multi-scalar map (i.e. contextual analysis centred around Vejle), the second map is the S-O-T-A map (i.e. mini-case studies), and the last map is a temporal map (i.e. projective and scenario-based strategies for Vejle).
To access the online Kumu maps, visit (password: tang), as shown in Figure 3.
Understanding the workings of these Kumu maps will make more sense in Part IV of this research.

Kumu map types




The main categorisation of nodes


MAP 1 – Multiscalar

(Refer to section 2.3.1)

To analyse Kanten/The Edge design competition winning entries as detailed multi-scalar site analysis with its associated connections. The multi-scalar approach is from the perspective of water bodies with seaweed as the focal lens in the main context of Vejle. The various nodes are informed by the USS propositions/concept).

Seven major scales were determined for this map. They are:


  1. Global water scale/network[108]

  2. National (Denmark) water scale/network

  3. Watershed/Catchment scale/network (Region of East Jutland) scale/network

  4. Vejle Fjord scale/network (inner to outer fjord including the river valleys)

  5. Fjordbyen/Fjord city (inner fjord) scale/network

  6. The Edge/Kanten scale/network

  7. Seaweed (cyclic) scale/network

Kumu map types




The main categorisation of nodes


MAP 2 – S-O-T-A


(Refer to section 2.3.2)

To review the relevant state-of-the-art precedents, policies and ontologies/world views from around the world to aid the development of the USS proposition/concept and as a mini-case study analysis. The focus is on projects that integrate water and marine life (i.e. seaweed) in various ways that could help answer the research questions.

  1. Art installations

  2. Coastal adaptation projects

  3. Education & Research (i.e. marine stewardship)

  4. Marine nature reserves (i.e. MPA)

  5. Marine nature restoration projects

  6. Seaweed related initiatives

  7. Urban Planning/Municipal strategies and policies (i.e. blue urbanism related)

  8. World views (i.e. alternative ways of viewing the water and marine life)


A business-as-usual (B-A-U) approach to urban development in coastal cities[109]


The main categorisation of nodes


Kumu map types




MAP 3 – Temporal-Projective

(Refer to section 2.3.3)

To understand the consequences of previous urban development decisions in contributing to today’s wicked problems in Vejle (i.e. issues with sea level rise, frequent storm surge and the ecological degradation of the fjord). Moreover, Map 3 is used to aid short to long-term scenario-based strategies for Vejle Fjordbyen’s future developments guided by the USS propositions and learnings from Maps 1 and 2.

  1. PAST: Nodes representing the various significant periods for Vejle, ranging from the conception of the city of Vejle in 1256 to the waterfront (Fjordbyen) development boom during 2009-2018.

  2. PRESENT: The node in the centre of the map represents the duration of this PhD: 2019-2022. The central node is used as a reference to understand the decisions of the past that led to the urban conditions of the present and how the present conditions could impact the future.

  3. FUTURE: Significant future climate deadlines, especially ones mentioned by the IPCC: 2030, 2050, 2100 and Vejle’s Storm surge Strategy deadlines: 2025, 2030 and 2070. Projective design and development strategies based on this research are embedded into three main categories of nodes - short, medium and long-term strategy.

speculative frameqork.jpg

Table 2. Summary of the content and the purpose of the three Kumu maps created for this research.

The following sections will elaborate on the methodological reasons behind the overall structure and the operation of the three main maps to show how these maps worked as investigative, analytical and projective tools contributing to the RtD method[110]. It is important to note that Kumu as a mapping tool has been re-appropriated to be used differently from the program's original intention of being more as a social network map to incorporate territorial forms of mapping used in the design disciplines into the network map.


[107] However, not all the materials contained in the three maps are covered in this monograph; therefore, readers are encouraged to explore the Kumu map online.

[108] I have decided to use the term both scale and “networks” as categorisation markers as it is not only about different territorial scales that are of concern, but also the network (inter-relationship) between the different scales. While the organisation of the different scales is linear in a vertical plane, the approach is to also make the map more intuitively navigable by users (i.e. municipal members and practitioners), who may be more used to conventional linear and hierarchal progression of scale (i.e. macro to micro and vice versa).

[109] This sub-category is an anomaly to the other S-O-T-A cases, where it is looking at the various projects that contribute to the current wicked problem of urban development. The mini cases from this category are mentioned throughout this monograph (for e.g. the hard concrete edge conditions in the waterfront areas of Danish coastal cities, such as Middelfart, Aarhus and Vejle).

[110] Also refer to the section: Preface: The online format of the research – Website and Kumu map.



Section 2.3 Footnote
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