Re-thinking soil bioengineering to address climate change challenges

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12 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)


Soil bioengineering includes the sustainable use of vegetation for civil engineering purposes, including addressing climate change challenges. Previous research in this area has been focused on determination of the strength and stability that vegetation provides for the soil it grows in. The industry, on the other hand, has concentrated on mainly empirical approaches in the design and construction of nature-based solutions. The aim of this paper is to attempt a reconciliation of the scientific and technical aspects of soil bioengineering with a view of proposing broad guidelines for management of soil bioengineering projects aimed at combatting climate change and achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). More than 20 case studies of civil engineering projects addressing climate change challenges, such as erosion, shallow landslides, and flooding, were critically reviewed against the different project stages and the UN SDGs. The gaps identified in the review are addressed from civil engineering and asset management perspectives, with a view of implementing the scientific and technical nexus in the future. Recommendations are formulated to help civil engineers embrace the multidisciplinary nature of soil bioengineering and effectively address climate change challenges in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3338
Number of pages14
Issue number6
Early online date18 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
Event'The importance of nature-based solutions to civil-engineering challenges' Professorial Lecture - Online, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Dec 2020 → … (Link to lecture online)


  • sustainability
  • eco-engineering
  • ground bio-engineering
  • environmental impact assessment
  • monitoring
  • big data
  • BIM
  • resilience
  • stakeholder engagement
  • energy
  • soil bioengineering
  • nature-based solutions
  • climate change adaptation
  • landslides
  • erosion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Engineering
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Energy
  • General
  • General Materials Science
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Decision Sciences
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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