30 years of IOER - Festive event on the occasion of the founding anniversary

The IOER celebrated its 30th anniversary together with guests at a festive event on 21 September.

The festive event was held under the heading "Space & Transformation: Liveable Futures". In this sense, it was not just a review of the time since the foundation of the IOER in 1992, when the Institute was founded on the recommendation of the German Science and Humanities Council (Wissenschaftsrat) and included in the joint federal and state funding as an institute on the "Blue List", from which the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Science Association, today's Leibniz Association, emerged in 1997. The predecessor institutions of the IOER were the Sächsische Bauinstitut in Dresden und das Landesbauforschungsinstitut Sachsen in Leipzig, which had emerged from parts of the Bauakademie of the GDR. Since 2003, the IOER has borne the name Leibniz-Institut für ökologische Raumentwicklung (Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development).


Not only the long history on which the IOER can base its work was acknowledged by Klara Geywitz, Federal Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Building, in a letter that Almuth Draeger from the Ministry, and Deputy Chair of the IOER Board of Trustees, delivered to the IOER staff. She also emphasised that the IOER was making a fundamental contribution to the spatial sustainability sciences in Germany and Europe.

In his welcoming address, Dr Andreas Handschuh, State Secretary at the Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism, emphasised the substantive and structural realignment that the IOER has undergone since 2019 under Director Prof. Dr Marc Wolfram. In view of the socio-ecological crises, the IOER has anchored itself conceptually and methodologically in the sustainability sciences, thus laying the foundation for the continuation of its excellent scientific work, Handschuh said.

The programme of the festive event also included two keynote speeches. Prof. Dr Martina Brockmeier, President of the Leibniz Association since July 2022, addressed the question of how scientific work should be evaluated in the future. At present, quantitative indicators such as the number of publications and citations or the amount of third-party funding acquired are valid. However, there is a growing realisation that this type of evaluation is no longer up to date and needs to be reformed. At both European and national level, there are now efforts to value all aspects of research work, including how research is made public and communicated to all areas of society. Especially for an institute like the IOER, which places a strong focus on transdisciplinary research and mutual exchange with society, this is an important development, says Marc Wolfram, Director of the IOER.


Dr Marianne Darbi, Professor of Landscape Planning and Impact Management at the Geisenheim University of Applied Sciences and herself working at the IOER for many years, drew attention to the role of ecological spatial development using the example of the biodiversity crisis. In her speech, she not only traced how human activity has caused this crisis, but also made clear the decisive contribution that ecological spatial development, and thus also current and future research at the IOER, can and should make to solving the biodiversity crisis.

In the concluding panel discussion, Almuth Draeger, Prof. Marianne Darbi and Christine Mantu, Executive Director of the Local Agenda 21 for Dresden, addressed the question of what role the local, i.e. regions, cities and neighbourhoods, play when it comes to initiating and shaping sustainability transformations and thus liveable futures. The tense relationship between challenges at the global level and the scope for action at the local level as well as the role that science plays in sustainability transformations were discussed in the panel moderated by Prof. Marc Wolfram. Leila Greifenhahn on saxophone and Stefano Giordani on guitar, students of the Dresden College of Music, provided the musical accompaniment for the festive event. The event marked the start of this year's IOER Annual Conference, which took place on 22 and 23 September at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden under the same heading "Space & Transformation: Liveable Futures".

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.