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Spotlight on Nature-Based Solutions against Natural Hazard

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Hazards and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 January 2023) | Viewed by 2572

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
Department of Geosciennce and Remote Sensing, Delft University of Technology, P.O. Box 5048 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: earth observation; land surface processes; hydrology; water management; optical and laser remote sensing
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Guest Editor
Department of Geoscience & Remote Sensing, TU Delft, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: modeling of water flow through the soil-plant atmosphere system with application of remote sensing to monitor crop water use

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This is an invitation to contribute to a Special Issue of Sustainabilty aiming at documenting the latest advancements in the design, implementation, and monitoring of interventions on the soil–vegetation system to mitigate the risks associated with natural hazards. Recent literature identifies such interventions as Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), since the overarching objective is to mitigate risks in harmony with earth system processes. To deliver effective risk mitigation, NBS need to modify patches in terrestrial landscapes, thereby requiring the consensus of entire communities. This has become an active area of research in an effort to address all the facets of a complex challenge. The design, deployment, and verification of the functioning of NBS prototypes against expected performance is a prerequisite for the evaluation of achievable risk mitigation by a system of NBS deployed in, e.g., a catchment. This geo-biophysical evidence provides a necessary reference for interactions within stakeholder communities towards the co-design and co-deployment of multiple NBS interventions within the landscape, with potential impacts on community assets and activities. Both earth system science and the sustainable use of natural resources are benefiting from such advances.

We aim at publishing manuscripts of high quality both on scientific and review contributions that highlight innovative NBS, both in terms of the bio-geophysical aspects of design, deployment, and experimental verification and the participatory processes towards consensus-building on the deployment of the NBS systems required to deliver the expected risk mitigation. Contributions on the ex-ante evaluation of benefits are particularly welcome, especially where combined with studies on the upscaling and replication of NBS prototypes.

Dr. Massimo Menenti
Dr. Silvia Maria Alfieri
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • hydro-meteorological hazards
  • water resources
  • extreme events
  • land cover dynamics
  • manipulation of the soil – vegetation system
  • risk mitigation
  • assessment and monitoring of vulnerability
  • mitigation of impacts of extreme events

Published Papers (1 paper)

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19 pages, 2214 KiB  
Participatory Design of Nature-Based Solutions: Usability of Tools for Water Professionals
by Borjana Bogatinoska, Angelique Lansu, Jean Hugé and Stefan C. Dekker
Sustainability 2022, 14(9), 5562; - 05 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2103
Participatory processes provide opportunities for water professionals such as scientists and policymakers and other stakeholders such as the local communities and farmers to meet, exchange information, deliberate, and share values. There is a diversity of rapidly evolving participatory methods, here defined, as tools [...] Read more.
Participatory processes provide opportunities for water professionals such as scientists and policymakers and other stakeholders such as the local communities and farmers to meet, exchange information, deliberate, and share values. There is a diversity of rapidly evolving participatory methods, here defined, as tools for supporting the process of designing nature-based solutions (NbS) together with the stakeholders. However, this requires a systematic and informed selection to facilitate the adequate choice of tools, aligned to the requirements and context of the water professionals and the stakeholders for the design and deployment of NbS. Despite this, there is still little progress and knowledge accumulation on how to select the most context-appropriate tool(s). Consequently, in this research, we propose a stepwise framework for the use of participatory tools, which we categorize as: (i) tools used for defining the hydro-meteorological hazards (HMH) and its impact on stakeholders—knowledge tools (ii) tools used for co-designing NbS with stakeholders—co-creation tools and (iii) tools used for co-implementing the transition towards NbS—transition tools. We then apply and test this stepwise framework on the participatory processes used in eight brook catchments distributed in four countries: the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and the United Kingdom. The framework is designed in steps that would lead to respectively: selecting, classifying, mapping, and grading the participatory tools leading to an informed and systematic decision of a tool or suite of tools for the design and deployment of NbS with stakeholders. With the application of this framework, we see that among the water professionals: (1) knowledge tools are central in the problem definition stage, particularly with non-technical stakeholders; (2) most anticipated co-creation tools are e-Tools/Virtual tools and workshops; (3) transition tools favor visual tools as a way of enabling the transition towards management practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spotlight on Nature-Based Solutions against Natural Hazard)
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