IOER strengthens research collaboration with South Korea

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) has maintained close contacts with various research partners in South Korea for many years. The one-year stay of the visiting scholar Dr Seungman An from the Korean Research Institute of Human Settlements (KRIHS) and joint projects with the Korea Environment Institute (KEI) are now providing new impetus.

The exchange with researchers from the Korea Environment Institute (KEI) focussed on discussing future topics of collaboration and concrete further steps in joint projects that are already underway. The six-person delegation, led by KEI President Dr Chang Hoon Lee, visited the IOER at the end of April. Among other things, the partners from KEI and IOER discussed a recently submitted project proposal. The project will focus on the threat posed to the population by ground-level ozone. Both institutions are part of this planned research project together with other partners. If the application is successful, the project will be funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and its Korean counterpart, the National Research Foundation of Korea. In addition, one of the delegation participants, Dr Tae Hyun Kim, senior scientist in the KEI's Environmental Planning Department, is planning a five-week guest stay at the IOER in autumn. During this time, he will be working on a cooperation project funded by the KEI. The comparative study will focus on questions of urban development and the acceptance of political measures to reduce the carbon footprint of residents. The study will focus in particular on Germany and Korea.

The Korea Environment Institute is a government-sponsored national research institute specialized in environment police and management. With more than 300 employees, the KEI is Korea's leading environmental research institute, comparable to the Federal Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) in Germany. Its main objective is to provide science-based policy advice for government, public sector and civil society. The IOER has a long-standing collaboration with the KEI. Joint meetings have been taking place for ten years. In 2015, the heads of both institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which was renewed during a visit to the KEI's headquarters in Sejong in 2022. The two institutions are also linked by their joint work on research projects and publications. For example, the IOER and KEI worked together on a long-term project comparing landscape development in the inner-German and inner-Korean border regions. In addition, two scientists of the KEI are now alumni of the international Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS), which the IOER runs jointly with the TUD Dresden University of Technology.

Dr Seungman An from KRIHS researches at the IOER for a year

In addition, visiting scholar Dr Seungman An from the Korean Research Institute of Human Settlements (KRIHS) will be joining the IOER until February 2025. The landscape planner and landscape architect from South Korea is researching the adaptation of cities to changing climate conditions. Accelerated global climate change is making the development of climatically adaptable urban spaces one of the most important planning and management goals in urban development, and not only in Korea. Dr Seungman An is therefore developing a methodology that can be used to quickly and easily analyse the effects of built and "green" elements on the urban climate. To analyse this, he uses the high-resolution sky view factor, which indicates the extent to which the view of the sky is restricted by buildings and urban greenery such as trees. This has an impact on the inner-city climate. The aim of the studies is to develop detailed recommendations for improving the urban climate. Dr Seungman An is particularly interested in the influence of urban greenery, the so-called urban green infrastructure.

The Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements (KRIHS) is a state-funded think tank. The KRIHS is affiliated to the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences in the Prime Minister's Office and is roughly comparable to the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (Bundesinstitut für Bau-, Stadt- und Raumforschung/BBSR) in Germany. The almost 400 employees of the KRIHS conduct research into sustainable land use, nature conservation and resource management. The work of Dr Seungman An from KRIHS fits in perfectly with the IOER's research fields, in particular the research areas "Landscape, Ecosystems and Biodiversity" and "Built Environment - Resources and Environmental Risks". Seungman An's one-year stay at the IOER is fully funded by the KRIHS. His work is an important contribution to the internationally connected work of the IOER.

Scientific contact at the IOER
Dr Marco Neubert, e-mail:

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

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