Governance models for nature-based solutions: 17 cases from Germany

Paul Mahony | 4 Mar 2021

Available at research

Nature-based solutions (NBS) for mitigating climate change are gaining popularity. The number of NBS is increasing, but research gaps still exist at the governance level. The objectives of this paper are:

  1. To give an overview of the implemented NBS for flood risk management and mitigation in Germany
  2. To identify governance models that are applied
  3. To explore the differences between these models.

The results of a hierarchical clustering procedure and a qualitative analysis show that while no one-size-fits-all governance model exists, polycentricism is an important commonality between the projects. The study concludes by highlighting the need for further research on traditional governance model reconversion and paradigm changes. We expect the findings to identify what has worked in the past, as well as what is important for the implementation of NBS for flood risk management in future projects.


  • Aude Zingraff-Hamed, Technische Universität München
  • Frank Hueesker, Leibniz Institute for Regional Development and Structural Planning
  • Christian Albert
  • Mario Brillinger, Ruhr-Universität Bochum