Urbanization is a major cause of climate change, loss of biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions. Nature-inclusive area development can counteract this, but is still taking place on too small a scale to have a real impact. Aeres Hogeschool, Hogeschool Van Hall Larenstein, Hogeschool van Amsterdam and Hogeschool Avans, together with the professional field, will investigate how the transition to nature-inclusive area development can be accelerated.

Project manager
March 2022 to February 2024

Pressure on biodiversity and free urban space

Climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions are high on the social agenda. In the Netherlands, 15% of the original biodiversity still exists. The Netherlands therefore scores below the European average. An important cause for this is urbanization, which will only increase in the coming years. The new cabinet wants 1 million new homes to be built by 2030. The houses usually have to be built sustainably and in existing cities.

Nature-inclusive area development crucial for quality of life

Secretariat Gideon Spanjar, lecturer Innovation & Green Urban Space at Aeres University of Applied Sciences and senior researcher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences: “The importance of nature-inclusive area development with the use of biobased building materials and the natural greening of the urban habitat is crucial to combating biodiversity loss and climate change. and improve the liveability of urban areas. Nature-inclusive area development should therefore be applied on a larger scale and faster in the Netherlands. However, too little knowledge is available about this. Not only when it comes to the effects of nature-inclusive construction for users and the underlying ecosystem, but also in terms of organization and financing.”

Contribute knowledge through practical research

In the two-year research project, the participating universities of applied sciences and the Center of Expertise Green look at both the application possibilities of biobased building materials and how the use of native plants in the shell of buildings and outdoor spaces contributes to the quality of life and climate resilience of areas. Three cases are being investigated: ‘Spoorzone Waarder’ for building level, ‘Amsterdam Knowledge Mile Park’ for street level and ‘Almere Centrum-Pampus’ for area level. With a broad representation of the professional field such as local and regional authorities, design offices, knowledge institutes, housing corporations and developers, the success and failure factors are mapped out and handles for accelerating the transition are identified.


The results of the research should lead to principles for nature-inclusive area development, a translation into a program of requirements and a practical points system for tenders linked to this.

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