Nature-inclusive urban development: lessons learned in three real estate projects in Dutch cities

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An increasing number of real estate actors appear to be searching for ways to incorporate nature and biodiversity in urban development projects. In this article, we study three Dutch urban development projects with high biodiversity ambitions in order to learn how they came to fruition. We combine transition theory with practice theory and identify key barriers and drivers on the basis of these approaches. We highlight that incorporating biodiversity in urban development projects requires considerable knowledge development, implies a higher entrepreneurial risk and asks for various pragmatic solutions to overcome barriers. We identify four key recommendations for promoting nature-inclusive urban development: (1) facilitate knowledge development and exchange; (2) incorporate and reward biodiversity in environmental certification schemes and tender criteria; (3) translate a strategic vision on biodiversity into concrete regulations to bridge the policy implementation gap; (4) stimulate the uptake of nature-inclusive urban development in corporate visions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152-171
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Urban Sustainable Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023


  • nature-based solutions
  • Nature-inclusive urban development
  • real estate
  • urban biodiversity
  • urban green infrastructure
  • urban greening
  • urban resilience


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