Every country bordering the North Sea is different. However, there are challenges that can be recognized by all of them. The partners in this project have identified challenges to implementing BwN solutions in the North Sea Region – barriers that hamper the wider adoption of these solutions.

Although Building with Nature projects hence helped to increase the BwN evidence base, the uptake and mainstreaming in Europe remains relatively slow.

This was found to be due to four main challenges, which have been collectively identified in the project Interreg Building with Nature project by all partners from countries bordering the North Sea Region. Though the challenges for mainstreaming BwN solutions are different in every country, four overarching challenges  that hamper mainstreaming of BwN have been identified:

  • lack of knowledge on system performance and monitoring
  • underappreciation of the local context and stakeholders
  • a non-bankable business case
  • a suboptimal governmental and institutional setting

The four main barriers identified in the project

The four main challenges identified in the project

More research towards the four challenges has been conducted. Find out more by clicking on the challenges below.

Scientific evidence

There is a frequent lack of knowledge on system performance (especially in extreme conditions), and how best to select Key Performance Indicators for monitoring after implementation.

Local understanding

Local stakeholder involvement and alignment is generally more crucial for BwN solutions than for grey solutions, but their expertise, knowledge and perspectives remain underutilized.

Bankable business case

Benefits of BwN solutions are spread out over multiple disciplines (e.g. flood risk reduction, health, environment), but the funding often still comes from one discipline. Moving out of this ‘financial silo’ is crucial to make BwN bankable.

Governance and institutional gap

The gap between major global and European ambitions and the relatively small amount of on-the-ground action needs to be bridged. Cross-sectoral collaboration and supportive legislations are necessary to facilitate the initiation and implementation of BwN.