Sustainability transitions in cities and regions

Photo: R. Knippschild/IÖR-Media
House with Grafitti

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) in Görlitz are closely linked to this research area and support its scientific programme. Therefore, the projects of the IZS are also listed here.

Research topics

  • Conditions and processes of sustainability transitions 
    We investigate systemic and fundamental processes of transformation in cities and regions in various fields of activity as well as in different spatial, planning, political and socio-economic contexts. [more
  • Governance of sustainability transitions
    We examine the potential of different governance approaches for a systemic and fundamental transition towards sustainability. To this end we consider the role of various actors, institutions and policy levels, in particular civil society and environmental policy. We test and improve the real-world laboratory approach as an instrument to generate knowledge in the context of new methodological approaches to transition research (Living Labs, Experiments, Real World Laboratories). [more]
  • Role of planning in sustainability transitions
    In particular, we test and improve existing planning approaches and instruments, in particular ecological and revitalizing urban redevelopment, with regard to the requirements of a systemic and fundamental transition towards sustainability. [more]


Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Knippschild

Head of the IZS

Professor at IHI Zittau


Phone für Dresden: +49 351 4679 216 

Phone für Görlitz: +49 3581 7924791 


Current Projects


Archives are available on the German Website.