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How to Bridge the Disciplinary Divide in Implementing Nature Based Solutions: Showcase Pilot Houtribdijk in the Netherlands

Author(s): Ellis Penning, Marieke De Lange, Marieke De Lange, Henk Steetzel, V. Vuik, Jasper Fiselier, Fokko Van Der Goot, Stephan Aarninkhof

Linked Author(s): Ellis Penning, Henk Steetzel

Keywords: Nature Based Solutions; Flood risk management; Natural foreshores; Governance; Multidisciplinary pilots;

Abstract: The call for assessing the potential of ‘green’ alongside ‘grey’ solutions for disaster risk reduction is becoming stronger and stronger. With climate change as an important driver the potential for flexible and adaptive management strategies for e.g. flood risk reduction via Nature Based Solutions must be demonstrated in practice. Large Unique Natural Experiments, such as pilot scale implementation of these solutions are needed to show the functioning of these solutions in reality. These pilots are an important step towards a final implementation on the full scale. In this paper we show the importance of being aware of the need for a multi-disciplinary dialogue, and how pilots help to bridge the disciplinary divide that often exists between e.g. civil engineering and ecological sciences, or between decision makers on different government levels. We present the case of a Dutch pilot study on the implementation of natural sandy foreshores in front of an existing dike to improve the strength of this dike. The motto of this pilot was ‘learning by doing’, during the pilot this extended into ‘understanding by doing together’. This proved to be an essential part of how this pilot contributed to the final decision to upscale from this pilot to a full twelve kilometers of dike renovation using a nature based solution. At the same time we discuss other processes that influenced the implementation of this and additional projects using newly constructed sandy shorelines in the same general area.


Year: 2019

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