Governance assessment and scoping


The text of this building solution is based on the governance section in this Guideline. The feasibility of a BwN-approach depends on the translation of societal concerns and interests into engineering designs. BwN-proponents should therefore make contact with relevant actors and stakeholders and involve them in their considerations. Moreover, they must be aware of the prevailing laws and regulations. Strategy formation on how and when to connect the engineering and design process with society should be an integral part of BwN. Note that there is no single strategy that will be successful in all cases. An effective participatory process adapts to the institutional and policy contexts and is tailor-made. Generally speaking, participation of actors (governors, civil servants, consultants, constructors and administrators) and stakeholders (persons, groups and NGOs that have a stake, and interest that might be influenced by the initiative/project) in preparatory activities will offer the best opportunities to promote BwN-principles and alternatives. The governance context may also provide useful information on advantages, important triggers or disadvantages, stumbling-blocks for the project, items that need to be addressed in order to practically realise Building with Nature ideas, at all. 


  • The connection to actors and stakeholders effectively enhances the feasibility of a BwN-approach;
  • Involving actors and stakeholders with their local and empirical knowledge may yield unexpected and tailor-made solutions which meet the various interests as much as possible;
  • Involving actors and stakeholders early in the process is likely to accelerate the permitting processes;
  • Scanning the regulatory context is important to ensure that the BwN-alternatives developed are statutory and legal. 


  • Involving actors and stakeholders and scanning the regulatory context can be time-consuming (though ultimately worth while);
  • Multiple rivalry perspectives are always present and reflected in multiple options advocated in the various project phases; this means that compromises and trade-offs have to be made during the process in order to keep all parties on board;
  • Stakeholders tend to focus on the short term and their vested interests, on ‘what is’ rather than on ‘what can be’. They need to be invited to step out of their comfort zone and take a longer-term perspective. Among actors such short term perspective is also often observed among governors.