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4.1.3 Vejle Fjord scale/networks

*NB: The following image is embedded into the above "Fjord Scale/Networks (Vejle)" node (scroll down the information window plane in Kumu).


Figure 146. (Top image) Kumu map at a fjord scale and its relationship back to Kanten/The Edge scale. It encompasses six nodes, such as maps pertaining to land and water use issues, ecological status/condition of the fjord, the sea bed conditions, biodiversity and nature protection areas surrounding the fjord, and the location of marine vegetation growing in the fjord (Kumu, 2020).
(Bottom image) The city centre of Vejle, where the river and the fjord meet. The fjord is divided into two main parts, the inner and the outer fjord, surrounded by three main municipalities (Fredericia, Vejle and Hedensted).
The map is made with the data from Miljøministeriet (n.d.).
(Extracted from Kumu Multiscalar map – Fjord Scale node).

Zooming out once more from Fjordbyen to the whole of Vejle fjord, as shown in Figure 147, it becomes evident that the fjord, despite its relatively shallow water depth, protrudes deep into the landscape, which is surrounded by agricultural land (shown in beige in Figure 147. See section 4.1.4 for more details). Furthermore, the fjord provides zones dedicated to cultivating mussels, oysters and seaweed (in yellow outline on the map in Figure 147). These zones are obvious candidates for hosting future potential nature-based solutions. However, they also coincide with shipping and recreational boat traffic (outlined in blue). Therefore, as a spatial corridor, Vejle fjord represents a contested zone involving marine transport and marine life[222].


*NB: The following image is embedded into the above "Land/water use & Ecological status map" node (scroll down the information window plane in Kumu).

Vejle Fjord Scale a5 revA.jpg

Figure 147. (Top image) Screenshot of the node “Land/Water Use & Ecological Status map” from the fjord scale isolated to show its connections to other corresponding nodes (Kumu, 2020).
(Bottom image) Vejle fjord is allocated for various uses, be it land-based transport (bridges for cars and trains), sea-based transport (recreational boats and shipping channels for the harbour), area for resource extraction, marine nature reserve and for cultivating marine life (which is currently at a very small scale). The map shows the urban sprawl of Vejle City (in grey), the green forests enveloping the fjord in green, and the huge agricultural land surrounding the fjord. The map is made with data from Miljøstyrelsen (2016) and the Danish Maritime Authority (n.d.).


While Kanten/The Edge competition focused on the immediate boundary between city and sea in Fjordbyen, it becomes increasingly clear when engaging at a Fjord scale how NbS with seaweed, such as kelp with wave attenuating properties (and other benefits[223] for fuel, feed, fertiliser or food), are impossible to employ in the shallow waters of the inner fjord. This is because kelp requires deeper, colder water with stronger currents and higher salinity levels, such as conditions in the mid to outer Vejle fjord (see Figure 148). Therefore, working with kelp for coastal protection and/or climate mitigation necessitates expanding the site of intervention from the Kanten/The Edge scale to the mid-outer fjord.



*NB: The following images are embedded into the above "Non-human map (seaweed)" node (scroll down the information window plane in Kumu).

more-than-human--map-fjord-scale brown.jpg
more-than-human--map-fjord-scale green.jpg

Figure 148. Screenshot from the Fjord scale node in the Kumu map isolated to show its connections to other corresponding nodes. (Kumu, 2020).
Fifty-nine different species of macroalgae have been recorded to be found in Vejle Fjord based on a study by Lundsteen and Nielsen (2019a, 2019b). The maps above show representative red macroalgae, green macroalgae and brown macroalgae in Vejle with relevant information on where they are likely to be found, what conditions they require to grow, how big they grow and the scientific and common name of the specific seaweed specie. Some seaweed species are only found in the inner fjords, while others are only in the mid-outer fjord's deeper waters.
For a full list of seaweed potentially available in Vejle Fjord, refer to Appendix 13 (Lundsteen and Nielsen, 2019a; 2019b). The map is made with the data from Miljø GIS and a study by Lundsteen and Nielsen (2019a, 2019b).


Exploring the potential of integrating seaweed as part of the Kanten/The Edge’s coastal development pushes the site from the edge to the zone – further out into the fjord but also further into the landscape to consider the water networks of river valleys. Vejle Municipality has already been conceiving the fjord not as a separate entity but in connection to the rivers (as shown in Figure 149) (refer to the workshop with Vejle Municipality Table 16 in Appendix 12). This conception is in line with the deep geological structures that show that while the city may stop at the water’s edge, the deep structures of the river valleys continue along the fjord into the land connected to the river valleys (see Figure 149). Furthermore, Vejle Municipality also acknowledges that Vejle is not just a coastal city at the bottom of the river valley but rather a group of other areas/boroughs/suburbs, as shown in Figure 149. Thus, Vejle does not only refer to the historic city centre, the waterfront/harbourfront area of Fjordbyen, but also the surrounding satellite suburbs, which tend to be forgotten as part of the city's identity. Therefore, there is potential for redirecting urban development in the future to higher areas while the flood-risk areas are commissioned for “degrowth”.



*NB: The following images are embedded into the above "SLR/SS risk map" node (scroll down the information window plane in Kumu).


Figure 149. (Top image) Screenshot of Kumu map of the Fjord scale node isolated to show its connections to other corresponding nodes (Kumu, 2020).
(Second row of images) Vejle also consists of many other districts/boroughs surrounding the historical city centre and Fjordbyen. Image credit: Vejle Municipality.
(Third row of image) Vejle Municipality’s conception of the Vejle Fjord in connection to its river valleys. Seeing Vejle fjord as an inter-connected water body. Image credit: Vejle Municipality (2019).
(Fourth and fifth row of images). Black-and-white terrain imagery shows that Vejle Fjord is a continuation of the river valley deep into the landscape. The water pushes inwards from the sea and outwards from the hinterlands through the passageways indicated by the deep structures of the land. Image credit: (translated from) Wiberg and Odgaard (2019).

[222] For instance, large-scale marine restoration projects or NbS in the form of floating buoys to grow kelp and mussels would have to compete with maritime traffic as NbS to achieve wave attenuation would need to cover the width of the fjord, blocking the passage of storms from reaching to the city. This could also pose a conflict in the future as Denmark and the EU is pushing for the increase of cultivation of marine life such as seaweed as a sustainable resource (Danmark and Ministeriet for Fødevarer, Landbrug og Fiskeri, 2010; Buschmann et al., 2017; Holdt, n.d.).

[223] However, for kelp to be cultivated at a large scale in Vejle Fjord to be used as fuel, feed, fertiliser or food to limit water pollution and clear the water, it is currently not economically viable due to the high labour costs and low market demand in Denmark (Hornbek Nielsen, 2020; Boderskov, 2021). This highlights the problem with the current economic models (refer to the discussion on Capitalocene in section 1.3) that prevent more eco-friendly solutions with diverse benefits from being implemented. Therefore, the intrinsic value proposition of ecosystems needs to play a strong role in the future to aid green transition and climate mitigation.



Section 4.1.3 Footnote
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