Today, almost half of the world population lives in cities and this number will increase every year. In the future, mankind will for the largest part be urban. This will require a search for a new type of urbanity and urban culture in a globalised world. Still, anti-urban sentiments among politicians, nature conservationists and others are not unusual. We will have to reconsider this attitude and search for a new type of urbanity as a basis for living conditions for the majority of the world population. In this paper we will research how design can contribute to these type of urban developments that now take place in large parts of the world. For the future of urban development, which is primarily a global development, we have distinguished three key issues that form the core of the problem for urban development; the shortage of water, the increased demand for mobility, infrastructure and transport and the condition of health as a basis for the quality of life we strive for. The role of design is first of all to integrate these three key issues in plans for the future urban and regional development. Design can be seen as a unique way of bringing together different aspects in a unified whole. Secondly we see the role of design in creating conditions for living both economically and socially. Finally we see a role for design in the contribution to the contemporary culture in creating conditions for new experiences in the relation between nature and culture. The research approach is first of all literature research; what has been written on the state of the art on the relation between nature and culture? Secondly we want to use the design experience in Holland with the making of new landscapes and new towns in the developing a vision on the new form of urbanity we mentioned earlier and the concept of 'next nature'. As a conclusion we want to put forward a design approach on the basis of three levels of intervention. First of all the strategic level where water and the water system is the key issue. Secondly the structural level that will create conditions for economic and social development where infrastructure and mobility are the key issues. Finally, at the level of materialisation of form, health is the key issue. It makes use of strategy and conditions of the other levels of intervention. It is at this level where local and global meet in the creation of daily living environments for people.