Pilot description

Area description

Assens is a Funen market town dating back to the 13th century. The town is situated on the west side of Funen in the south part of the Lillebælt and has a population of roughly 6,000. The town is situated in a small bay, with an isthmus (Assens Næs) that runs from the southern part of the town out into the Lil­lebælt.

Here, there is a marina and a cluster of holiday homes southwards from the town. The area is used for leisure and recreation and characterised by tourism. In the central part of the pilot area is an active, commercial marina and the town’s shopping centre, which also includes important cultural historical elements, including access to the marina/harbour from the town. Further north, there are year-round residences.

The coastal stretch around Assens is very diverse and full of character. Rocky cliffs dominate the coast north and south of Assens along a slightly curbed coastline, shaped by narrow, primarily pebbly beaches. Assens is characterised by a particular cultural landscape, where large soil basins from former sugar manufacture in the southern part of the town rise 10 metres above sea level. Assens Næs, meanwhile, is a flat, partly artificially constructed peninsula in front of the town.

The harbour and the central part of the town are located on the opposite side of Assens Næs. From here, the terrain rises rapidly towards the north, south and east. Assens has one small stream with a catchment area of around 20 km2, Kærum Å, which runs into the south part of the town from the east.

Number of inhabitants: 6155 (in 2019)

Flood risks

Challenges are presently faced on the flat peninsula, Assens Næs, with flooding in connection with high water events. The biggest challenges are experienced at the very tip of Assens Næs, which is affected by both flooding from the sea from the west and from the harbour basin from the east. There are various coastal protection structures in the area, including embankments, breakwaters and groynes, plus a num­ber of jetties and landing stages.

Assens town is at risk of flooding from the Lillebælt strait, especially in connection with backwash floo­ding from the Baltic Sea after long periods with westerly winds, which have pushed the water into the Baltic Sea. The statistic is a 100-year flood in Assens 179 cm (Danish Coastal Authority, 2018).

In connection with high water, the town is at risk of flooding of the isthmus from both water from the Lillebælt strait and via the harbour. The terrain along the harbour varies greatly in height, and the water can flow onto the land in several places and flood the town from both the south and east. The stream, Kærum Å also brings flood risks, including from surface impoundments at high water levels.

In connection with storms, the southern part of Assens Næs can be affected by acute erosion; according to the Danish Coastal Authority’s coast atlas, the risk of acute erosion on the west side of Assens Næs is classed as potentially ’great’, while the risk of chronic erosion is defined as ’small’.