Realizing Emergent Ecologies: Nature-Based Solutions from Design to Implementation

Rob Roggema*, Nico Tillie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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The current state of nature is concerning. The levels of biodiversity are rapidly decreasing; existing policies sketch ambitious objectives, but their effectiveness is relatively low. This is caused by a combination of three main elements: physical elements, planning processes, and psychological reasons. In dealing with these deeply rooted problems, following qualities are missing: attention to planning and design in nature-based solution policies, the gap between plan and execution of plans, and the transformation to eco-leadership of young people. In four consecutive years, research design studios have been executed, in which students collaboratively design eco-solutions for complex and urgent problems. The core subjects of each of these studios were four interlinked aspects of eco-design: (1) designing in parallel at master plan and concrete project level, (2) planning, designing and building within a short period, (3) the emergence and succession of ecosystems on site, and (4) ecological leadership practice. By investigating these aspects year after year, designing integrated and coherent solutions, and realizing these solutions in built form, an ecological spatial framework emerged within which smaller projects were and will be embedded. This way, the ecosystem on campus grows, matures, and develops as a self-regulating system. Moreover, new leadership emerged amongst the young participants in the research design studios
Original languageEnglish
Article number1972
Number of pages15
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • biodiversity
  • nature-based solutions
  • research by design
  • eco-leadership
  • landscapedriven design
  • eco-campus


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