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Conclusions and lessons

The most important conclusion is that utilizing a building with nature approach allows for integrated development by anticipating on the nature legislation in early stages of the design project. In this project, this realization has emerged at a later stage – while nature goals and principles were already utilized for several years, forming the basis of the plans. By using an ecological-system focused design, additional functions can be integrated in the plans. The IJsseldelta-South project has the benefit of starting from a relative tabula rasa in that dimensioning can be changed to include multiple functions such as nature. In this project, building with nature has been shown to be a successful approach when combined with integral planning practices.

In the previous monitor Markermeer-Ijsselmeer we concluded that nature-inclusive thinking was actively being used in the province of Flevoland. In this report we add to that that the province of Overijssel has embraced the same principles in the IJsseldelta-South project development. This in itself is not a surprising development, considering that many developers learn to cope with nature legislation through the passage of time. While in contrast to the Zeewolde case (Vikolainen, Lulofs & Bressers, 2010), there has been no judicial test of these plans, based upon previous work we can assume that the chance of successful passing this test will be significantly higher than without the inclusion of dynamic nature within the plans from the beginning. Building with Nature subsequently creates opportunities for planners and developers, not only by (normatively) creating nature, but also by (pragmatic) increasing the chances of successful development of a project. Nature is the clear winner, in both cases. 

For successful introduction and implementation of the building with nature approach, this case furthermore demonstrates that the integral planning and development coalition forms a better target group than the – more logical – nature organizations. This is due to the conservationist nature of the latter organizations, while the integral planning and development coalition is concerned with change. The present versus the future – what is versus what might be. A future-oriented point of view is most beneficial to building with nature. 

There is little to no opposition against the concept of building with nature but opposition concentrates against the developments a nature-inclusive approach makes possible. The fact that the building with nature approach is an effective means of pre-emptively coping with nature legislation should be stressed to developers and designers. This case demonstrates that the basic building with nature principles can be applied in a slightly different context: the delta of a river and a shallow lake with relatively low dynamics.


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