Natural Hazards

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 947–966

Building with Nature: in search of resilient storm surge protection strategies

  • E. van Slobbe
  • H. J. de Vriend
  • S. Aarninkhof
  • K. Lulofs
  • M. de Vries
  • P. Dircke
Conceptual Note to the Editor

DOI: 10.1007/s11069-012-0342-y

Cite this article as:
van Slobbe, E., de Vriend, H.J., Aarninkhof, S. et al. Nat Hazards (2013) 65: 947. doi:10.1007/s11069-012-0342-y


Low-lying, densely populated coastal areas worldwide are under threat, requiring coastal managers to develop new strategies to cope with land subsidence, sea-level rise and the increasing risk of storm-surge-induced floods. Traditional engineering approaches optimizing for safety are often suboptimal with respect to other functions and are neither resilient nor sustainable. Densely populated deltas in particular need more resilient solutions that are robust, sustainable, adaptable, multifunctional and yet economically feasible. Innovative concepts such as ‘Building with Nature’ provide a basis for coastal protection strategies that are able to follow gradual changes in climate and other environmental conditions, while maintaining flood safety, ecological values and socio-economic functions. This paper presents a conceptual framework for Building with Nature that is used to evaluate coastal protection strategies, based on a case study of the Holland coast in the Netherlands. The added value and the limitations of these strategies are discussed.


Storm surge protection Coastal maintenance Building with Nature Ecosystem services Adaptive management Sea-level rise 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. van Slobbe
    • 1
  • H. J. de Vriend
    • 2
  • S. Aarninkhof
    • 3
  • K. Lulofs
    • 4
  • M. de Vries
    • 5
  • P. Dircke
    • 6
  1. 1.Alterra, Wageningen University and Research CentreWageningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.EcoShape Foundation/Deltares/Delft University of TechnologyDordrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.EcoShape Foundation/Royal BoskalisDordrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.School of Management and GovernanceUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Deltares/University of Applied Sciences, Hogeschool ZeelandDelftThe Netherlands
  6. 6.ARCADIS Nederland/Rotterdam University of Applied SciencesRotterdamThe Netherlands

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