Building with Nature represents a paradigm shift that places natural processes and systems understanding at the center of the approach to create Nature-based Solutions. These projects fundamentally differ from traditional, gray infrastructure solutions such as dikes and dams. Building with Nature is inherently dynamic, multifunctional, innovative, and context-specific. To facilitate Building with Nature within project development, these characteristics have to be carefully considered throughout the process.

The enablers help identifying the key considerations at the start of any project and make the development process practicable. The specific context will determine the importance of each enabler in the project or initiative, even though all projects benefit from considering all enablers.

The six enablers are not isolated components, but are part of an interlinked approach, with overlap between the different components. For example, system knowledge both considers the natural as well as the social system; this systems approach is covered ‘Technology and system knowledge’, but particularly the social systems are leading in ‘Multi-stakeholder approach’ and ‘Institutional embedding’. Knowledge from these enablers also translates into how what dynamics and uncertainties to anticipate, leading into ‘Adaptive management, maintenance and monitoring’ that in turn influence the ‘Business case’. Within all these aspects, the understanding and trust in Building with Nature is essential, hence ‘Capacity building’ is required in all these fields. It is clear that the enablers are strongly interlinked and should be approached collectively, progress in one enabler cannot been seen separate from progress in the other enablers.