Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries


Photo of Professor Steffen Lehmann

Professor Steffen Lehmann

  • Qualifications: Dr-Ing, AA Diploma, Dipl Des, RIBA, RAIA
  • Role Title: Professor of Sustainable Architecture
  • Address: Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ
  • Telephone: 023 9284 5742
  • Email: steffen.lehmann@port.ac.uk
  • Department: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries
  • Faculty: Creative and Cultural Industries


I am Professor of Sustainable Architecture and lead the research theme on Sustainable Cities in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, and across faculties at the University of Portsmouth.

I am also Co-Director of the Cluster for Sustainable Cities, a cross-Faculty research concentration.

The Cluster for Sustainable Cities brings together a group of over 38researchers and key industry partners with an interest in resilient urban futures.

Urbanisation is one of the defining processes of contemporary times. Our understanding of the urban, whether in theory or in practice, has reached a turning point, with cities across the world facing new, complex and challenging conditions that require resilience and adaptation to the impacts of environmental and social change. 

I joined the University of Portsmouth in January 2016 to establish the interdisciplinary Research Cluster for Sustainable Cities. Prior to this, as a full professor for the last 15 years (since Dec 2002), I have held a range of senior leadership positions, from Head of School to Head of Discipline and Director of research centres. I have been in research intensive positions for the past decade. During this time I have had significant responsibility for creating and leading new urban research formations, generating a large publication and granting output and a continuous stream of successful research students. I was previously a tenured Chair and Professor of Sustainable Design at the University of South Australia, where I was founding director of two highly successful research centres (2010-14).

My research interests span architecture, urban design and sustainability with a strong focus on improving the environmental performance of buildings and neighbourhoods by introducing climate resilience. The main focus of my work over the past twenty years concerns urbanisation and the integration of low-carbon technologies into the societal/behavioural context. Current research includes the emerging field of low carbon precinct design combining strategies of passive and active building performance, and the adaptation of communities for climate change.  I focus on solutions for a low carbon society, on resilient urban development and on technologies to optimise the resource-efficient city.

I believe architects and urban designers have a crucial role to play in developing strategies and adaptation solutions to ensure our cities are resilient, resource-efficient and sustainable in the face of intensifying global warming.

I am currently editorial board member for 5 international scientific journals. The fruits of my research are prodigious, including 18 books, numerous journal articles and conference papers, over 50 invited book chapters, encyclopaedia entries, online podcasts and contributions to UN reports. I have been advising the United Nations ESCAP and UNESCO organisations on urbanisation models and a 'New Urban Agenda'. In 2008, based on the international significance of my work, I was appointed a UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Urban Development for Asia and the Pacific (-2010).

From 2016 to 2018 I hold an Honorary appointment with the Institute for Sustainable Futures, at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS).

I have an international outlook and extensive experience as an academic and practitioner in Asia and particularly in China. In April 2014, I organised and led the high-profile international group mission and research symposium ‘Sustainable Urbanisation of China’ at Tianjin University.

I have studied at the Architectural Association School in London in the 1980s (AA Dip 1991), and completed a PhD (Dr.-Ing. 2003) in Architecture and Urbanism at the TU-Berlin. 


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

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