EWN Publications

Advancing nature-based solutions by leveraging Engineering With Nature® strategies and landscape architectural practices in highly collaborative settings

Jeffrey King, Rob Holmes, Sean Burkholder, Justine Holzman, and Burton Suedel
June 7, 2021

About This Publication

Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)’s Engineering With Nature® (EWN®) initiative consistently promotes the use of collaboration for identifying innovative, nature-based solutions (NBS) that lead to more resilient communities and water-based infrastructure. In recent years, EWN researchers, in partnership with landscape architects (LAs) affiliated with the Dredge Research Collaborative (DRC), have championed an innovative, collaborative strategy that offers traditional planners an opportunity to participate in visioning exercises during the initial phases of coastal storm risk management projects. This has resulted in the identification, development, and incorporation of design concepts that prioritize NBS and the placement of natural and nature-based features (NNBF). These concepts, and their development process, have been documented in reports for the use of both the participating planners and other audiences interested in innovative NNBF. Upon observing these favorable outcomes, it has become clear that the integration of disciplines—landscape architecture, applied science, and engineering—has increased our ability to process, utilize, and communicate complex information. Both groups (i.e., DRC’s LAs and EWN engineers and scientists) have considerable experience related to infrastructure design and performance; they elucidate ways to achieve functional engineering criteria while also maximizing ecological value and/or promoting more recreational opportunities. However, this partnership also produces a complementary set of uniquely acquired skills and expertise, which advances the development of NBS through accelerated and more meaningful communications. This study will offer insight into the partnership, collaborative techniques, and resulting products that have fostered innovation as well as advocacy for more sustainable infrastructure. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2022;18:108–114. © 2021 SETAC. This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.