Research in Urbanism Series 2021-02-18T13:43:48+01:00 Frank van der Hoeven [email protected] Open Journal Systems <p>RiUS is an indexed peer-reviewed book series that deals with dynamics, planning, and design in contemporary urban areas.</p> Building with Nature perspectives 2021-01-24T18:54:18+01:00 Janneke van Bergen [email protected] Steffen Nijhuis [email protected] Nikki Brand [email protected] Marcel Hertogh [email protected] <p>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.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Building with Nature as integrated design of infrastructures 2021-01-29T19:57:21+01:00 Nikki Brand [email protected] Marcel Hertogh [email protected] <p>Many people associate Building with Nature with its flagship project, the Sand Motor. This mega-nourishment redefined the role of natural processes in civil engineering projects, demonstrating that instead of ‘do no harm’ as the highest possible supporting goal of coastal infrastructure, the design could incorporate natural processes to attain societal and ecological goals. As such, the Sand Motor represents a key example of the integrated design of civil infrastructures. In this contribution, we pursue an improved understanding of the integrated design of civil infrastructures, by comparing the illustrative example of the Sand Motor against a framework based on transport infrastructures and the occasional flood defence. It turns out that application of a framework from one domain to another - a conscious act of interdisciplinary learning - results in a modification of that framework. Although the domain of Building with Nature fits well with many existing attributes of integrated design for civil infrastructures (the life cycle approach, adaptive design and adding functionalities), its key attribute (dynamics) adds a unique box to the integrality index. This intellectual effort raises two issues. It demonstrates that our understanding of integrated design is rather specific for different infrastructure-domains. Second, it is likely that the bandwidth of uncertainty that is key to the incorporation of natural processes in infrastructure design, and the changing behaviour of the structure itself in the maintenance phase, has implications for the governance regime of such infrastructures.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 A systematic design approach for objectifying Building with Nature solutions 2021-01-29T20:05:56+01:00 Mindert de Vries [email protected] Mark van Koningsveld [email protected] Stefan Aarninkhof [email protected] Huib de Vriend [email protected] <p>Hydraulic engineering infrastructure is supposed to keep functioning for many years and is likely to interfere with both the natural and the social environment at various scales. Due to its long life-cycle, hydraulic infrastructure is bound to face changing environmental conditions as well as changes in societal views on acceptable solutions. This implies that sustainability and adaptability are/should be important attributes of the design, the development and operation of hydraulic engineering infrastructure. Sustainability and adaptability are central to the Building with Nature (BwN) approach. Although nature-based design philosophies, such as BwN, have found broad support, a key issue that inhibits a wider mainstream implementation is the lack of a method to objectify BwN concepts. With objectifying, we mean turning the implicit into an explicit engineerable ‘object’, on the one hand, and specifying clear design ‘objectives’, on the other. This paper proposes the “Frame of Reference” approach as a method to systematically transform BwN concepts into functionally specified engineering designs. It aids the rationalisation of BwN concepts and facilitates the transfer of crucial information between project development phases, which benefits the uptake, acceptance and eventually the successful realisation of BwN solutions. It includes an iterative approach that is well suited for assessing status changes of naturally dynamic living building blocks of BwN solutions. The applicability of the approach is shown for a case that has been realised in the Netherlands. Although the example is Dutch, the method, as such, is generically applicable.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Mindert de Vries, Mark van Koningsveld, Stefan Aarninkhof, Huib de Vriend Objectifying Building with Nature strategies 2021-01-29T21:13:25+01:00 Mindert de Vries [email protected] Mark van Koningsveld [email protected] Stefan Aarninkhof [email protected] Huib de Vriend [email protected] <p>By definition, Building with Nature solutions utilise services provided by the natural system and/or provide new opportunities to that system. As a consequence, such solutions are sensitive to the status of, and interact with the surrounding system. A thorough understanding of the ambient natural system is therefore necessary to meet the required specifications and to realise the potential interactions with that system. In order to be adopted beyond the pilot scale, the potential impact of multiple BwN solutions on the natural and societal systems of a region need to be established. This requires a ‘reality check’ of the effectiveness of multiple, regional-scale applications in terms of social and environmental costs and benefits. Reality checking will help establish the upscaling potential of a certain BwN measure when addressing a larger-scale issue. Conversely, it might reveal to what extent specific smaller-scale measures are suitable in light of larger regional-scale issues. This paper presents a stepwise method to approach a reality check on BwN solutions, based on the Frame of Reference method described in a companion paper (de Vries et al., 2020), and illustrates its use by two example cases. The examples show that a successful pilot project is not always a guarantee of wider applicability and that a broader application may involve dilemmas concerning environment, policy and legislation.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Mindert de Vries, Mark van Koningsveld, Stefan Aarninkhof, Huib de Vriend Engineering roles in Building with Nature interdisciplinary design 2021-01-29T21:31:01+01:00 Renate Klaassen [email protected] Baukje Kothuis [email protected] Jill Slinger [email protected] <p>Building with Nature (BwN) infrastructure designs are characterised by disciplinary integration, non-linearity, diverse and fluid design requirements, and long-term time frames that balance the limitations of earth’s natural systems and the socio-technical systems created by humans. Differentiating roles in the engineering design process may offer strategies for better solutions. Four complementary engineering design roles were distinguished, namely: Specialists, System Integrators, Front-end Innovators, and Contextual Engineers. The key research question addressed in this paper asks, how can the introduction of engineering roles enhance interdisciplinary processes for BwN design? Three Building with Nature design workshops with international groups of students from multiple disciplines and various education levels provided the ideal context for investigating whether engineering roles enhance such interdisciplinary ways of working. Results indicate that the application of engineering roles in each of the three workshops indeed supported interdisciplinary design. A number of conditions for successful implementation within an authentic learning environment could be identified. The engineering roles sustain an early, divergent way of looking at the design problem and support the search for common ground across the diverse perspectives of the team members, each bringing different disciplinary backgrounds to the design table. The chapter closes with a discussion on the value of engineering design roles and their significance for the Building with Nature approach.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Urban dunes 2021-01-29T22:35:55+01:00 Janneke van Bergen [email protected] Jan Mulder [email protected] Steffen Nijhuis [email protected] Daan Poppema [email protected] Kathelijne Wijnberg [email protected] Mieke Kuschnerus [email protected] <p>Sandy shores worldwide suffer from coastal erosion due to a lack of sediment input and sea-level rise. In response, coastal sand nourishments are executed using ‘Building with Nature’ techniques (BwN), in which the sand balance is amplified and natural dynamics are instrumental in the redistribution of sand, cross- and alongshore. These nourishments contribute to the growth of beaches and dunes, serving various design objectives (such as flood safety, nature, and recreation). Nevertheless, human interference (such as buildings and traffic) along urbanized sandy shores may have significant, yet poorly understood, effects on beach and dune development. Better insight is required into the interplay of morphological, ecological and urban processes to support Aeolian BwN processes for dune formation and contribute to the sustainable design of urbanized coastal zones. This paper aims to bridge the gap between coastal engineering and urban design by formulating design principles for BwN along urbanized sandy shores, combining nourishments, natural dune formation and urban development on a local scale to strengthen the coastal buffer. The first part of the paper analyses sedimentation processes in the (built) sea-land interface and identifies spatial mechanisms that relate coastal occupation to dune formation. Hence a preliminary set of design principles is derived by manipulating wind-driven sediment transport for BwN dune formation after nourishment. In the second part of the paper, these principles are applied and contextualized in two case-studies to compare their capability for BwN in different coastal profiles: the vast, rural, geomorphologically high dynamic profile of a mega-nourishment (Sand Motor); versus the compact, highly urbanized, profile(s) of a coastal resort (Noordwijk). Conclusions reflect on the applicability of BwN design principles within different coastal settings (dynamics, urbanity) and spatial arrangements facilitating BwN dune formation.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Building with landscape 2021-01-29T22:37:28+01:00 Rene van der Velde [email protected] Michiel Pouderoijen [email protected] Janneke van Bergen [email protected] Inge Bobbink [email protected] Frits van Loon [email protected] Denise Piccinini [email protected] Daniel Jauslin [email protected] <p>The multi-dimensionality of BwN calls for the incorporation of ‘designerly ways of knowing and doing’ from other fields involved in this new trans-disciplinary approach. The transition out of a focus on rational design paradigms towards reflective design paradigms such as those employed in the spatial design disciplines may be a first step in this process. By extension, the knowledge base and design methodologies of BwN may be critically expanded by drawing on ways of knowing and doing in spatial design disciplines such as landscape architecture, which elaborates the agency of the term ‘landscape’ as counterpart to the term ‘nature’. Operative perspectives and related methodologies in this discipline such as perception, anamnesis, multi-scalar thinking, and process design resonate with specific themes in the BwN approach such as design of/with natural processes, integration of functions or layers in the territory and the connection of engineering works to human-social contexts. A series of installations realised for the Oerol festival on the island of Terschelling between 2011 and 2018 serve as case studies to elaborate potential transfers and thematic elaborations towards BwN. In these projects inter-disciplinary teams of students, researchers and lecturers developed temporary landscape installations in a coastal landscape setting. Themes emerging from these project include ‘mapping coastal landscapes as complex natures’, ‘mapping as design-generative device’, ‘crowd-mapping’, ‘people-place relationships’, ‘co-creation’, ‘narrating coastal landscapes’, ‘public interaction’ and ‘aesthetic experience’. Specific aspects of these themes relevant to the knowledge base and methodologies of BwN, include integration of sites and their contexts through descriptive and projective mappings, understanding the various spatial and temporal scales of a territory as complex natures, and the integration of collective narratives and aesthetic experiences of coastal infrastructures in the design process, via reflective dialogues.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Pioneering Sand Motor 2021-01-29T22:39:15+01:00 Jacqueline Heerema [email protected] <p>Now that people all around the world are slowly starting to rethink how humanity and the planet are interrelated, new questions have arisen around the understanding of time and the perception of place. It’s not merely a technical or a political challenge that we are facing, it is also a cultural one. The Sand Motor - as the first of its kind - uses the forces of the wind and waves as active agengies of change, but can it be valued as a driving force for humanity to change as well? Drawing from primary artistic research of the sea, coastal transitions, climate change and human appropriations in The Netherlands and abroad, we can state that the ephemeral nature of the Sand Motor itself challenges a polyphonic discourse for co-creation of experiential knowledge. The Sand Motor can be perceived as a man-made intervention in public space, an open-air, publicly accessible research site. Over the past 10 years, Satellietgroep redefined the Sand Motor as a cultural phenomenon, connecting the Sand Motor to the realms of art, culture, and heritage. This essay discusses a series of human-inclusive art projects, in which the Sand Motor evolves from a non-place into a vital learning environment for the cross-pollination of ideas and experimentations to rethink culture and nature. They demonstrate that pioneering with the Sand Motor should include pioneering with the social and cultural values of this artifact, not only to raise public and professional climate-consciousness, but also to adopt it as a human-inclusive landscape. This may well be the most underestimated value of the Sand Motor itself, and of the concept of Building with Nature in general.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Odum’s dark bottle and an ecosystem approach 2021-01-29T23:53:50+01:00 Brian Cook [email protected] <p>Eugene Odum was an ecological pioneer, writing the discipline’s first textbook, Fundamentals of Ecology, in 1953. Although his work is almost 70 years old, it laid the groundwork for contemporary landscape systems thinking. Since Odum’s time, a lineage of ecological research and theory has helped to define concepts pertaining to ecology, ecosystems, and nature. With these terms in peril of becoming ambiguous, especially in the design arts, this chapter revisits the origins and development of ecologic thinking in order to construct a more critical understanding of nature, and the role of the designer for Building with Nature. One particular experiment by Odum is used as the foundation of concept development. A pond is his reference site and he ‘dissects’ it, using dark and light bottes to illustrate its nuances and the overall ecosystem idea. Three important principles can be derived. First, the ecologist, or the designer, should understand the ‘nature’ of the system, or site, where they are working. Second, nature is formed through functional interactions over extended periods of time. Lastly, through an ecosystem approach, it is shown that systems involve indirect effects. In ecological networks, sites are impacted by forces beyond their immediate boundaries, as well as through other social and cultural systems. Case studies located along the Florida Gulf Coast are used to explain Odum’s and others’ concepts. Florida has developed in parallel with human’s capacity to manipulate their environment. For this reason, it is a useful reference site, illustrating trajectories in ecological thinking.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Building with Nature in landscape practice 2021-01-29T23:56:29+01:00 Maike van Stiphout [email protected] <p>In a world where increased prosperity has created a number of novel, ecosystem-related threats to people’s health and the economy, designing with nature offers a promising outlook to mute the potential negative impacts of our actions and to keep improving the quality of life worldwide. It also provides an alternative to an attitude that has been largely negligent towards our non-human fellow beings. Drawing from the experience of DS landscape architects, four actualized projects and two student master theses illustrate the challenges, opportunities and benefits that building with nature presents. These cases highlight four important lessons for designing with nature in rural and urban landscapes. First, considering the surrounding landscape as a starting point creates a deeper understanding of the situation at hand. This allows for better planning with the ecosystem and enhances the richness of its biodiversity once a project is delivered. Secondly, planning with nature creates the opportunity to let nature do some of the work. This can include water purification, drainage, and cooling. The third lesson is that designing with nature requires a long-term plan. Maintenance might be necessary, and the public may need to be patient to watch the ecosystem slowly flourish through the decades. Finally, creating a new kind of wilderness-imbued beauty to inspire public acceptance and to motivate stewardship is a promising method for establishing a successful long-term nature-inclusive design project. These and other lessons contribute to a field of design where incorporating nature is the status quo.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 A novel coastal landscape model for sandy systems 2021-01-30T00:10:28+01:00 Arjen Luijendijk [email protected] <p>A common measure to mitigate erosion along sandy beaches is the implementation of sand nourishments. The design and societal acceptance of such a soft mitigation measure demands information on the expected evolution at various time scales ranging from a storm event to multiple decades. Process-based morphodynamic models are increasingly applied to obtain detailed information on temporal behaviour. This paper discusses the process-based morphodynamic model applied to the Sand Motor and how the morphodynamic forecasts have benefitted from the findings of an interdisciplinary research program called NatureCoast. The starting point is the morphodynamic prediction of the Sand Motor made for an Environmental Impact Assessment in 2008 before construction began. After the construction, the model computations were optimized using the first-year field measurements and insights by applying advanced model features. Next, an integrated model was developed that seamlessly predicts the morphodynamics in both the subaqueous and subaerial domains of the Sand Motor. Decadal predictions illustrate the need to be able to resolve the marine and aeolian processes simultaneously in one modelling framework in the case of dynamic coastal landscapes. Finally, a novel morphodynamic acceleration technique was developed that allows for predicting the morphodynamics for multiple decades while incorporating storm events in one simulation. Combining the above-mentioned developments has led to a unique, open-source, process-based landscape tool for (complex) coastal sandy systems, which can stimulate further collaboration between research communities. Moreover, this work demonstrates the evolution from mono- to interdisciplinary forecasts of coastal evolution.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Beach-dune modelling in support of Building with Nature for an integrated spatial design of urbanized sandy shores 2021-01-30T00:13:02+01:00 Kathelijne Wijnberg [email protected] Daan Poppema [email protected] Jan Mulder [email protected] Janneke van Bergen [email protected] Geert Campmans [email protected] Filipe Galiforni-Silva [email protected] Suzanne Hulscher [email protected] Paran Pourteimouri [email protected] <p>The long-term physical existence of sandy shores critically depends on a balanced sediment budget. From the principles of Building with Nature it follows that a sustainable protection of sandy shores should employ some form of shore nourishment. In the spatial design process of urbanized sandy shores, where multiple functions must be integrated, the knowledge and the prediction of sediment dynamics and beach-dune morphology thus play an essential role. This expertise typically resides with coastal scientists who have condensed their knowledge in various types of morphological models that serve different purposes and rely on different assumptions, thus have their specific strengths and limitations. This paper identifies morphological information needs for the integrated spatial design of urbanized sandy shores using BwN principles, outlines capabilities of different types of morphological models to support this and identifies current gaps between the two. A clear mismatch arises from the absence of buildings and accompanying human activities in current numerical models simulating morphological developments in beach-dune environments.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Natural solutions versus technical solutions 2021-01-30T00:15:08+01:00 Elisabeth Ruijgrok [email protected] <p>‘Building with Nature’ solutions seem like a logical alternative to technical solutions. Working with nature instead of against it might save civil engineering costs. But will it also generate additional civil engineering benefits? Typical engineering benefits are related to flood prevention, transportation and sand mining. Both technical and natural solutions can produce these benefits. Natural solutions, however, may produce additional ecosystem benefits. These are rarely accounted for in investment decisions about engineering projects. This is not surprising as there are no rules stating that and how these benefits should be calculated. The Netherlands is the first country in Europe to install a national guideline for monetising ecosystem benefits within cost-benefit analyses in the public sector. This article shows how this guideline provides a systematic approach to prevent both over- and under-estimations of ecosystem benefits. The key to this approach is to make a distinction between goods and services that directly generate welfare while linking those to conditional functions that indirectly generate welfare. This approach is applied to flood defence in the Scheldt estuary in Belgium. It resulted in benefit estimates that were large enough to compensate for the extra cost of natural solutions. Taking ecosystem benefits into account influenced the flood protection decision of the national government: the natural ‘inundation areas’-solution was preferred to the technical solution of ‘dyke heightening’.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Building with Nature as a cross-disciplinary approach 2021-01-30T00:17:17+01:00 Janneke van Bergen [email protected] Steffen Nijhuis [email protected] Nikki Brand [email protected] Marcel Hertogh [email protected] <p>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.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00+01:00 Copyright (c) 2021