More than 100 actors from science and practice took part in the IOER Annual Conference at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden on 23 and 24 September. Under the heading "Space & Transformation", they addressed questions of societal change. What role do space and spatial developments as well as spatial planning play in the change towards more sustainability that is urgently needed? This was the central question of the conference.
Suitable input was given by keynote lectures from the IOER and renowned scientists from the transformation and spatial sciences. In addition to Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, Director of the IOER and Dr. Jessica Hemingway from the IOER, Prof. Dr. Antje Bruns from the Trier University and Prof. Dr. Bernhard Truffer from Eawag (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology) spoke about different aspects of the conference topic.
For the first time, the IOER annual conference took place over two days and offered national and international participants the opportunity to present their research and practical work in the topic area. The opportunity was provided by 25 sessions, ranging from the classic lecture format to innovative speed talk sessions and a simulation game. Presentations and discussions were held on four thematic strands:
- Human-nature-connection in urban and suburban areas
- Transformative capacity, transition governance and spatial planning
- Metabolisms and circularity in cities and regions
- Spatial visualization and modelling of transformations
With open air excursions and workshops, the IOER Annual conference offered further new programme formats. For example, two citizen science projects were presented during excursions to the Großer Garten. On the one hand, researchers from the IOER presented the meinGrün web app, which has been developed over the past three years with the support of the population and the pilot cities of Heidelberg and Dresden. Researchers from the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences also presented an app developed by citizen scientists at their workshop "Counting Night Lights". During a guided herb tour with Tom Zschaage from Dresden, conference participants could discover which wild herbs can be found in the Großer Garten.