Building with Nature perspectives





BwN, Building with Nature, nature-based solutions, coastal protection, adaptive planning and design, water management, natural processes, delta landscapes, ecological hydraulic engineering


This publication offers an overview of the latest cross-disciplinary developments in the field of Building with Nature (BwN) for the protection of coastal regions. The key philosophy of BwN is the employment of natural processes to serve societal goals, such as flood safety. The starting point is a systems-based approach, making interventions that employ the shaping forces of the natural system to perform measures by self-regulation. Initial pilots of this innovative approach originate from coastal engineering, with the Sand Motor along the coast of South Holland as one of the prime examples. From here, the BwN approach has evolved into a new generation of nature-based hydraulic solutions, such as mangrove forests, coastal reefs, and green dikes.

How to Cite

van Bergen, J., Nijhuis, S., Brand, N., & Hertogh, M. (2021). Building with Nature perspectives. Research in Urbanism Series, 7, 7–12.



Author Biographies

Janneke van Bergen, Delft University of Technology

Janneke van Bergen is a landscape architect and PhD researcher at the TU Delft. Over the past decade she worked in the field of water and infrastructure, including Room for the River, the National Coastal Delta Program and Studio Coastal Quality. She currently works for the ShoreScape research, funded by NWO, to investigate Building with Nature and coastal design.

Steffen Nijhuis, Delft University of Technology

Steffen Nijhuis, PhD, is initiator of this publication, Head of Landscape Architecture Research and Associate Professor Landscape Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology (The Netherlands).

Nikki Brand, Delft University of Technology

Nikki Brand is an interdisciplinary scientist and policy advisor at TU Delft. Flood resilient urban development and interdisciplinary learning are central in her research. Nikki’s work is motivated by the Houston-Galveston Bay region in Texas, where she first observed how fragmented knowledge prevents an effective response to flood risk. Her mission is to accelerate learning by merging knowledge.

Marcel Hertogh, Delft University of Technology

Professor Marcel Hertogh is head of the research group Infrastructure Design and Management at the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at the TU Delft. The group focusses on project management of mega projects, engineering asset management and building information modelling. He is strategic advisor for Rijkswaterstaat and chairman of DIMI: the interfaculty Delft research Initiative facilitating research and education on Mobility and Infrastructures.