Temporary Nature - A Win-Win for Nature and Developers: Tinkering with the Law in Order to Combat Biodiversity Loss

  • Chris BackesEmail author
  • Arnold van Kreveld
  • Hendrik Schoukens
Part of the Contemporary Urban Design Thinking book series (CUDT)


Temporary Nature has been pitched as a recent illustration of a more collaborative, reconciliatory approach to nature management in human-dominated landscapes. In essence, the novel concept is focused on providing more opportunities for nature development on temporarily available lands, which will subsequently be turned into a housing zone or an industrial site. By opening up these sites for nature development on a temporary basis, without hampering future developments, the concept might lead to net gains for endangered pioneer species. In doing so, Temporary Nature stands out as a remarkable win-win approach, which might help to enhance nature on lands which would, in lieu of such an instrument, remain out of reach for nature. The recent Dutch experiences with Temporary Nature have already revealed that such long-term beneficial effects effectively materialize on the ground. Even so, additional research will have to reveal the ideal circumstances under which this concept can yield an optimal outcome in terms of biodiversity gains and local acceptance.


Temporary Nature Safe harbor agreement Reconciliation ecology Pioneer species EU Nature Directives 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris Backes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arnold van Kreveld
    • 2
  • Hendrik Schoukens
    • 3
  1. 1.Professor of Environmental and Planning LawUtrecht Centre of Water, Oceans and Sustainability Law (UCWOSL)UtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Temporary Nature FoundationHoutenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Ghent UniversityGhentBelgium

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