IOER Conference 2024 "Space & Transformation: Living in Harmony with Nature"

What needs to be achieved in spatial development, i.e. in the planning and design of landscapes, regions, cities and neighbourhoods, so that people can live quickly and permanently in harmony with nature? – The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) will address this question at its 2024 conference under the heading "Space & Transformation: Living in Harmony with Nature". The IOER conference, including an international summer school of the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS), will take place from 25 to 27 September at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden. Registration for the event will be possible from the beginning of May.

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated in drastic fashion the inextricable link between human well-being and healthy ecosystems. Today, however, ecosystems and biodiversity around the world are facing considerable societal pressures and are moving dangerously close to critical tipping points: ecosystems and their services are being degraded to such an extent that more than one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Significant non-renewable natural resources are being overexploited while cascading environmental risks threaten the livelihoods of large sections of the population. For these reasons, transformative change seems more urgent than ever.

This is particularly true with regard to spatial development, insofar as the relationship between humans and nature is negotiated and shaped directly in landscapes, regions, cities and urban districts. So what needs to be achieved in spatial development within the next 10 to 20 years to ensure that humans can permanently live in harmony with nature? How can novel human-nature partnerships and vibrant human-nature relationships be shaped at different spatial scales?  

Submissions on various topics welcome

These questions are at the heart of the IOER Conference 2024. In the run-up to the UN Summit of the Future 2024, we investigate which spatial approaches and methods can help to greatly accelerate the replacement of destructive ways of living and doing business with sustainable ones.

The focus is on different perspectives and approaches that can enable and accelerate transformative change. They are reflected in the different conference tracks, for which interested parties can now submit contributions:

  • Positive visions of a good life that inspire and motivate individual and collective actors in spatial development
  • Strategies and tools for transformative governance, planning, innovation and revitalisation
  • Complex spatial analyses, indicators, models and simulations
  • Circularity and resilience in building and settlement development
  • Regeneration of ecosystems and biodiversity as well as nature-based solutions

Summer School of DLGS for PhD students

At the beginning of the IOER Conference, on 25 September, the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS) jointly run by the IOER and TUD Dresden University of Technology, is organising its international Summer School for PhD students. It also focuses on the overarching topic “Space & Transformation: Living in Harmony with Nature”.

Formats and deadline

Interested parties are warmly invited to actively contribute their own work and ideas to the discussions at the IOER conference and the DLGS Summer School. The conference language is English. Individual submissions and sessions in German are possible (no English translation provided). The DLGS Summer School will be held exclusively in English.

Contributions are welcome in the following formats:

  • Presentation
  • Short presentation
  • Dialogue Sessions
  • Poster Party
  • Summer School Presentation (for PhD students only)

The deadline for submitting contributions was 9 April 2024.
Registration for the event will be possible from the beginning of May.

Link to the conference website
Follow us on X/Twitter: @IOER_conference


The IOER Conference is a place for inter- and transdisciplinary exchange. It addresses its questions to both scientists and practitioners. In addition to IOER staff, important protagonists of national, European, and international transformation and spatial research provide impulses for the IOER Annual Conference.

Contact at the IOER
Professor Dr Wolfgang Wende (concept),
Katrin Vogel (organisation)


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.