Nature in the city used to be entirely normal

Nature in the city used to be entirely normal!

The waterfront used to be a natural and lively region within a bustling city. Land and water came together in a natural way and provided an environment that was attractive for lingering and enjoying leisure activities. Meanwhile the river provided a means of transportation and the hinterland supplied us with food and water.

Resilient and adaptive

Resilient and adaptive

Wet and dry areas, fresh and salt water, plant and animal diversity: the city was appealing, a highly pleasant place to be that was healthy to live in and resilient. Not being overburdened, the environment could adapt easily to new developments.

We lost our way

We lost our way...

On the way to the future, our lives were made easier by technology. Almost without thinking, we abandoned our links with the river and with nature. The city became more urbanised, and more built-up. It was as though the old valuable assets had drifted further and further away on the waters of the river.

Progress comes at a price

Progress comes at a price

Things are busy in cities now, and that won't change. By 2030, 80% of the global population will be living in delta cities and coastal areas. Climate change means our cities are sometimes too warm and sometimes too wet, severely impacting society and the economy. The choices we make now will affect our lives later.

Back to the roots, forward to the future

Back to the roots, forward to the future

The symbiosis between the forces of nature, the multifunctionality and the use of the water-rich locality is at the heart of resilient, attractive and healthy cities in delta areas. Building with Nature in the city embraces the river again as the lifeline it once was. And that is urgently needed.

Building with Nature is the solution

Building with Nature is the solution

BwN in the city makes intelligent use of all the wonders that nature offers us, and the ingenious systems involved. We use willow trees to break waves and prevent flooding. Tidal parks mitigate flood risks. These solutions are based on extensive knowledge or extensive research and proven experience.

The smart component is the inclusion of ecological and leisure value in risk management: with solutions of this kind, animals and plants flourish and give cities extra allure. They make life, work and leisure pleasant and healthy. Now and in the future.

Part 2


Natural embankments and breakwaters, areas of land that can be submerged: discover how to use Building with Nature in the city.

Applications in the picture

Part 3

Discover how it works in practice

Visit Rotterdam and Dordrecht and see how they are embracing the river as a lifeline.

In practice

1 of 6