This PhD would not have been possible without the supportive figures from the Aarhus Architecture School. I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to my supervisors, Tom Nielsen and Katrina Wiberg (also Torben Nielsen, Claus Pedersen and Mia Mimi Flodager), who gave me the opportunity to undergo one of the most enriching experiences of my career and to put faith in this project of chasing seaweed. I am grateful that they all took a chance on me, a non-native Dane, to explore what Denmark could do differently with its green transition of coastal cities. I will very much miss the fruitful discussions with my supervisors, which have helped my project develop into what it is today with their bottomless expertise. Aside from the professional exchange, it was also a pleasure to get to know them personally as colleagues.
I was privileged to have been a PhD student during COVID-19, and the support I received from the PhD school throughout the period, especially during my brief journey back home to New Zealand. Many thanks to Lincoln University in New Zealand for hosting me during precarious times, especially Hamish Rennie, Sylvia Nissen and the crew from Lincoln Planning Review. A special thanks to Elizabeth MacPherson for imparting her knowledge on her work with the Maori (indigenous) relationship with the more-than-human world – it was a valuable opportunity to learn about the merits of my home country I had not known.
There are many other experts I would like to thank for their valuable contributions, especially Cintia Organo Quintana (SDU); she has been instrumental in enabling me to think differently about the world underwater. My exposure to seaweed was limited, so it was an eye-opener to learn about the importance of the marine realm. I have enjoyed our many enlightening discussions throughout my research. The same gratitude is extended to numerous other marine biologists and seaweed experts/enthusiasts I interviewed who were generous enough to spare their time and effort to impart their valuable knowledge: Ole Mouritsen (KU), Michael Palmgren (Malmo Marine Centre), Joachim Hjerl (Havhøst), Mads Fjeldsø Christensen (Vejle Kommune), Tim Haggert (University of Auckland), Lasse Hornbek Nielsen (Pure Algae), Dorte Krause-Jensen (AU), Steen Hedrup and Teis Boderskov (AU).
Of course, this research would not have been the same if not for my involvement with Vejle Municipality, who kindly welcomed me into their team, especially Lisbet Wolters and Lotta Tiselius, for including me in this incredibly valuable and insightful process. I would also like to thank Middelfart Municipality (Inger Haarup Borchmann from CFBO), who invited me to their various workshops. It was also a great opportunity to speak with Kanten/The Edge winners; thank you so much for a great discussion on the project – it is inspiring to know that many practitioners worldwide are committed to being part of the green-blue transition. Thanks to Josephine Philipsen, Luisa Brando, Andres Hernandez, Jonas Lambert, Jonathan Houser, Kasper Magnussen, Karen Gamborg Knudsen and Rasmus Rosengren Nielsen from SUPERFLEX.
Many others have also contributed valuable critical feedback to my research, especially fellow researchers from the Realdania network. My involvement in this group allowed me exposure outside my discipline and different perspectives of those committed to tackling water issues in Denmark's coastal cities. Thank you to Gertrud Jørgensen (KU), Anna Aslaug Mortensdottir Lund (KU), Karsten Arnbjerg-Nielsen (DTU), Roland Löwe (DTU), Ole Fryd, Kamilla Stener Møller (KU), Anna Lea Eggert (DTU) along with my supervisors for including me as part of this unique opportunity. Moreover, I would also like to thank the academic members of Urban Landschaften in Hamburg, whom I got to visit annually. A special thanks to all involved in the organisation and for providing insightful feedback to the PhD students - Hille von Seggern, Martin Prominski, Undine Giseke, Antje Stokman, Lisa Diedrich, Henrik Schultz, Sigrun Langner and Niels Albertsen.
A special thanks also need to be given to Timothy Beatley for his feedback on my research by participating in my big VIVA (pre-defence). His positive feedback and support were appreciated and needed! It was nice to discuss the emerging field of blue urbanism, which inspired this research.
Throughout the past three years, I have also had the great pleasure of contributing to the projects of others. Thank you to Tim Shue for including me in the discussion on green transition in Australia and his team working on the podcast channel, “Talking in this Climate”. Thank you to Johanna Weggelaar from Atelier Luma, under Algae Collective, who invited me to an algae workshop in Venice (with Space Caviar and V-A-C Zattere Foundation). I had a great experience with people passionate about algae (thank you to Kathryn Larsen for connecting us!).
Special thank you to Anna Lindblad from Arka Video and Niels Rysz Olsen (AAA) for taking an interest in my project and making great videos so my research can be disseminated into the non-academic public realm. Thank you, Niels, for the cool drone shots of Vejle in the freezing rain!
I am grateful to my fellow PhDs at Aarhus Architecture School; Joel Lektmann (EC), Richi La Place Resende (EC) and Stine Dalager Nielsen. I got to talk about the joys and frustrations of being a PhD fellow. It was nice to have such supportive colleagues along this journey. Thank you to the staff I got to work with and teach with, especially those who invited me to their design studios, Heidi Merrild and Kasper Mørkholt, for involving me in the Middelfart Climate festival (Klimafolkemødet) and the design studios run by Urszula Kominska, Elizabeth Donovan, Alicia Lazzaroni, Antonio Bernacchi, Ezra (Naime) Akin, Thomas Hilberth and Chris Thurlbourne. Special thanks to Studio 1A members for allowing me to integrate my research into teaching, Stefan Darland Boris, Katrina Wiberg and Rune Christian Bach. Big thanks to Nikola Gjorgjievski and Kevin Kuriakose for helping me with my workshop; it was really fun working with you both. A special mention to Kevin for being instrumental in helping me discover and learn the Kumu map.
I would like to acknowledge the master students Anne-Sofie Sørensen, Eline Øyri, Kent Olav Hovstein Nordby, Lars Dyve Jørgensen, Line Østerkjærhus, Andrea Falk Pedersen, Emma Lockwood, Carolin Föhre (formerly from Aalborg University). They kindly permitted me to refer to their projects on Vejle, which helped me initially get started on understanding the context of Vejle.
Lastly, en stor tak to my partner, Nicolai Skiveren. We have both been very fortunate to have undergone a key milestone in our lives, completing a PhD together while encouraging and challenging each other (also proofreading each other’s work). Writing a PhD can be a lonely endeavour, but I felt like I had another “transdisciplinary” collaboration in this research project with critical input from the discipline of the Humanities. I would also like to extend my gratitude to my Danish family, especially Lars and Jette Skiveren, for their unwavering emotional support throughout my time in Denmark. I appreciate that I had familial support away from my home country of New Zealand.
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