Category Archives: SUSTAINABILITY

Nature-inclusive construction was the central topic of the expert session of April 9, 2024, hosted by Utrecht Province. As an expert in this field, Mathias Lehner was invited to deliver the key note. He took the audience through his vision with appealing nature-inclusive design examples, that increase biodiversity in the city.

The event was hosted by Bob Dijkman-Dulkes, manager of the Provincial accelerator program housing. Consecutive speakers were Remo Wormmeester and Martin Heinen of ecogroen, and Amber Holdijk explaining the experiences of Veenendaal Municipality with a nature inclusive system of points for building projects.

The expert session was part of the accelerator program for housing of Utrecht Province.

The N203 is a provincial road of 2 by 2 lanes that runs for more than 10km as a traffic artery through Zaanstad Municipality. What is the future potential of this highway like road? Originally laid out in meadows at the backyard of the villages along the Zaan river the asphalt strip has become a spatial center piece – and barrier.

Upon initiative of and in collaboration with the Babel architecture centre Mathias is coaching students at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. In autumn 2024 a public exhibition will show the students’ works.

Giulia Gualtier, a PhD candidate at Eindhoven University set a Community or Practice (CoP) on nature inclusive design. Mathias was asked to join this CoP, an international network of experts in the field of design, government and research. A great opportunity to exchange experiences and knowledge to propel urban biodiversity, and a great pool to feed Giulia’s research.

On October 17th, 2023, Mathias will speak at the Real Estate Dialogue in twin cities Reutlingen ‘the metropole in a bioshere area’ & ‘university city’ Tübingen, together 250k+ inhabitants in the innovative South of Germany. The conference on sustainable regional development is organized by Heuer Dialog in partnership with Instone Real Estate.

Mathias’ lecture will focus on the newest insights when it comes to strategies and benefits, but also cost and return of ‘green’ in sustainable urban development and future-proof real estate.

Other speakers include Max Wörner (robot-driven wood company TriqBriq), Hanno Brühl (Stadtwerke Tübingen, who offer energy, public transport, parking and e-mobility), real estate expert Peter Wilke (GER) and mayors and urban planning directors Angela Weiskopf, Thomas Keck amd Cord Soehlke.


Within the Program of Integral Knowledge of Space for Zaanstad Municipality Mathias chaired the last session before the summer break. On the 4th of July 2023 this event about the spatial problems in the soil took place underground, a more than 800m long space underneath Beatrix Bridge.

The session exchanged knowledge on the various spatial claims in the underground, such as cables, pipes, sewage, city heating and of course soil life and roots for the trees. External expert Jos van der Wersch from Leiden Municipality gave an introduction and reported of a pilot of new vertical order of installations in the soil.

(c) Elsevier

Finally the article ‘Social housing as focus area for Nature-Based Solutions to strengthen urban resilience and justice: lessons from practice in the Netherlands.’ originally conceived by Robbert Snep, Judith Kloosterman of Wageningen University, Ineke Weppelman and Mathias got published by the manuscript number ENVSCI-D-21-01468R1  at Elsevier publishers. 

The article can be found online on Science direct here or via Elsevier here.

In autumn 2022 Mathias teaches a design course at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture that deals with the human planetary claim as a series of spatial claims.
Turning our human impact of the Anthropocene into a positive force, students design a district that has its Earth Overshoot Day exactly then, when it should be: on December 31st. The design will combine the spatial claims for the entire district housing, work, production and recreation, but also for energy, food, carbon absorption and other spatial claims within the given area. It will be highly based upon local and decentralized principles.

Wood might just be the construction material of the future when it comes to houses and offices. The Netherlands are a country that want to be Co2 neutral in 2050, and produce only a fraction of the wood needed for the building sector. For the Austrian State Trade Association WKO Mathias researched the sector in depth and presents his findings in a Webinar and report.

What are critical success factors for the realisation of thoroughly sustainable plans in cities and communities? How to involve citizens, elected officials and the various disciplines in a public administration? Upon invitation of the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies Potsdam (IASS) Mathias contributed with an inspiration lecture on his practice as designer and strategic advisor to a workshop of a number of German cities gathering in Hamburg.

In the highly urbanized Swiss valleys the need for contributing to a rich ecosystem is more important than ever, especially for building projects that due to their size seal a large surface. With a lecture on nature inclusive architecture and urbanism Mathias kicked off this new international collaboration with ant design studio Bern.