The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) in Dresden is an establishment of the Leibniz Association for research in the spatial sciences focussing on ecological aspects of sustainable development. It was founded on 1 January 1992, is jointly funded by the federal and Saxony governments and is a research establishment with a staff of over 100.
In accordance with its Leitbild, the Institute addresses the scientific basis for the sustainable development of cities and regions in the national and international context. Research concentrates on five main areas:
The Research Area 'Landscape Change and Management' is concerned with analysing change in cities and regions. Particular attention is paid to open spaces and ecosystem services, as well as strategies and tools for influencing them.
The Research Area 'Resource Efficiency of Settlement Structures' looks at whether and to what extent cities, buildings, and infrastructures can be designed and refined to consume less land and material and to achieve higher energy efficiency.
The Research Area 'Environmental Risks in Urban and Regional Development' is concerned with analysing and assessing risks for spatial development from natural hazards and climate change. Planning strategies, tools, and risk prevention are also addressed.
The Research Area 'Monitoring of Settlement and Open Space Development' develops survey, monitoring, and analytical procedures for better describing the state of and changes in land use. Forecast procedures are also elaborated for establishing housing land requirements as a driving force in urban and regional development.
The Research Area 'Strategic issues and Perspectives' studies the complex linkages between the economic, institutional and legal framework and the behavior of actors in the context of ecological urban and regional development
The Institute makes its findings available to the political authorities and society.
Promotion of Young Scientists
The Institute places great value on the promotion of young researchers and has therefore introduced structured support for doctoral students. Together with the Technical University of Dresden and the Academy for Spatial Research and Regional Planning (ARL), the IOER in 2008 established an internationally oriented Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS). Every two years, eight applicants from Germany and abroad are awarded grants. External doctoral candidates can also avail themselves of the structured support at the IOER or be associated with the DLGS.