White Paper: Integrated System-based Asset Management

The Business Case for scaling-up Building with Nature in the Netherlands

Building with Nature (BwN) is an approach that makes active use of natural forces and processes to develop, implement and upscale Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) for water-related challenges and infrastructural needs. NBS involve a combination of green and grey solutions. In addition to the primary function they fulfill for infrastructural purposes specifically, they maximize the combined benefits for society and ecology.

Mainstreaming BwN and NBS is essential to climate adaptation. This was concluded at the Climate Adaptation Summit at the beginning of 2021. Water is the main challenge for climate adaptation and through the approach of BwN, implementing NBS can achieve resilience and sustainability for ecosystems and communities. Despite many developments in the field, mainstreaming these concepts is still proving to be difficult.

This paper advises the adoption of Integrated System-based Asset Management to mainstream BwN projects in the Netherlands. The authors hope the findings and the recommendations presented here will motivate water managers to embed a system-based vision with BwN at its centre in water policy.