Bamboo Bridges: A Nature-based Solution




nature-based solution (NBS), bamboo bridge, co-benefits, green building materials


Given the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, developing countries are unable to develop their infrastructure, including small houses and bridges, using the same carbon dioxide (CO2) emission "heavy" technologies as the "West" has used. Using the case of two bamboo bridge projects in China, we argue that a nature-based solution (NBS), like bamboo and wood, means considerably fewer CO2 emissions compared to a similar bridge made of concrete and/or steel, and therefore should become the norm for small bridges worldwide. Another important aspect of a bamboo bridge is how this technology, an NBS based on local materials and knowledge, situates itself in the local community compared to a concrete or steel bridge. Creating local, or at least non-urban employment by using bamboo and using local knowledge about bamboo construction in combination with help from public scientific institutions means less dependence on high-tech capital equipment and high-level engineering expertise, which are scarce and/or expensive in developing countries. The fact that a bamboo bridge can perform cultural and social functions to a greater extent than a concrete bridge, resulting in the local community becoming more engaged in the bridge's construction and maintenance, can be an important additional factor in convincing the local community to choose a bamboo bridge, given that global warming is, by its very nature, an issue much more remote from everyday life in small rural communities.




How to Cite

Rong K, Ekeland A, Shao C, Zhang Y, Shangguan S. Bamboo Bridges: A Nature-based Solution. Green Building & Construction Economics [Internet]. 2022 Jun. 2 [cited 2022 Dec. 1];3(1):12-26. Available from: