IÖR Overview

Brief Profile

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is a non-university research center, and a member of the Leibniz Association. We investigate the sustainable development and transformation of cities and regions in the context of the global human-ecological crisis, focusing on the dynamic interactions between ecosystems and society at and across multiple spatial scales, as well as options for responsible stewardship.

Our research is both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, working across the environmental, social and engineering sciences. It is also transdisciplinary, collaborating closely with stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors. We aim to foster environmentally just urban and regional transformations that enable humanity to thrive within a safe ecological operating space.

Our Research

The research area 'Sustainability transitions in cities and regions' investigates systemic and fundamental processes of transformation to help foster social change towards sustainable ways of life and business practices as well as ensure a balanced spatial development.

The research and knowledge transfer activities of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalizing Urban Transformation (IZS) are closely linked to this research area and support its scientific programme. This Joint Urban Lab is supported and operated by the IOER and the Technische Universität Dresden.

The research area 'Landscape Change and Management' analyses the changes in cities and regions. Open spaces and their ecosystem services are given special consideration, as are the strategies, tools, and forms of governance required in order to influence them.

The research area 'Resource Efficiency of Settlement Structures' investigates to what extent and with which approaches cities, buildings and infrastructure can be shaped and developed so as to use land and natural resources in the most sparing and environmentally friendly way.

The research area 'Environmental Risks in Urban and Regional Development' deals with the analysis and assessment of environmental risks caused by natural hazards and climate change as well as with the respective measures, strategies and tools required for taking the risks into account.

The research area 'Economic Aspects of Ecological Urban and Regional Development' deals with the economic analysis of goal conflicts, scarcity of resources and actions of economic agents as well as with cost-efficient management options for an ecologically and economically sustainable spatial development.

The research area 'Monitoring of Settlement and Open Space Development' develops methods for acquisition, monitoring, analysis and visualisation in order to better describe, understand and project the state and changes of land use and the building stock.

Promotion of Young Scientists

The IOER places great value on the promotion of young researchers. Doctoral candidates receive structured funding, and postdocs from Germany and abroad have the opportunity to carry out independent research. Together with the Technische Universität Dresden we organise the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS). At this international graduate school we support work that focuses on sustainable and resilient urban and regional development. Furthermore, our researchers teach at universities in Germany and abroad.