Building with Nature as a cross-disciplinary approach
Building with Nature as a cross-disciplinary approach

The role of hybrid contributions





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


The incentive for this publication was to expand the realm of enquiry around the topic of Building with Nature (BwN), for two main reasons. First to gain an interdisciplinary, and therefore deeper, understanding of BwN as an object of study. Secondly, but no less important, is an understanding of how different forms of knowledge contribute to our learning regarding BwN. When we understand the contribution of several academic disciplines and knowledge from practice, we may eventually get to the point where we can identify how they can collaborate successfully to contribute to BwN as an interdisciplinary field.

How to Cite

van Bergen, J., Nijhuis, S., Brand, N., & Hertogh, M. (2021). Building with Nature as a cross-disciplinary approach: The role of hybrid contributions. Research in Urbanism Series, 7, 283–292.



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.


Lee, L., South Australia Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Cabinet, S. A. D. P., & Adelaide Thinkers in Residence (Project). (2011). An Integrated Design Strategy for South Australia. Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

National Science Foundation (2016). Convergence research at NSF.