Data for the fundamental transformation of cities and regions – IOER establishes new Research Data Centre

The sustainable transformation of cities and regions requires specific knowledge resources as well as data, analyses and digital tools. In the future, science and practice will be able to fall back on services of the new research data centre IOER RDC, which the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) will establish over the next few years. It will be headed by data expert Dr Ramona Voshage. A new website provides information on the services offered by the IOER RDC.

If cities and regions are to develop sustainably, a fundamental change is needed that is inextricably linked to spatial structures and processes. Spatial data, analyses and modelling are therefore important prerequisites for shaping this change. The new Research Data Centre IOER RDC will provide these basics in the future. It aims to make complex spatial relationships and dynamics understandable by opening up rapidly growing and heterogeneous databases, analysing, interpreting and visualising them in combination, and providing access to this data and information.

The starting point of the IOER RDC is the "Monitor of Settlement and Open Space Development (IOER Monitor)", which the Institute has been operating since 2009. Online and free of charge, the IOER Monitor provides, a wide range of information on land use and landscape development for the whole of Germany. On the recommendation of the Senate of the Leibniz Association, the range of information is now being significantly expanded by developing an integrated Research Data Centre that links all four research areas of the IOER.

Among other things, the IOER RDC will compile and make available information relevant to research, politics and planning practice on land use and settlement structures, building stock and ecosystems in the form of high-resolution indicator maps. Spatial analyses, modelling and simulations across scales and disciplines will also be part of the Research Data Centre's services. To this end, the interdisciplinary team of the IOER RDC uses heterogeneous data sources such as land use data, 3D building data, remote sensing data and sensor data. Concepts and methods of Spatial Data Science and Geospatial Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI) are used to process the data.

This is not just about reconstructing historical developments and describing the status quo using current, high-resolution data. Rather, the basic data will also be used to develop alternative spatial scenarios that can be used to evaluate possible future development paths. In addition, the IOER RDC will also develop and provide digital tools that support decisions for sustainable transformations. The IOER Research Data Centre will also be networked nationally and internationally. For example, it is involved in setting up the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) and is part of the NFDI4Biodiversity, NFDI4Earth, KonsortSWD and BERD@NFDI consortia.

Data expert heads the IOER RDC
Dr Ramona Voshage, a proven expert in data infrastructures, took over as head of the IOER RDC in March. Ramona Voshage has already played a major role in setting up the Research Data Centre of the Federal Statistical Office and has managed the RDC location in Berlin for many years. Official economic data already played an important role during her doctorate. Ramona Voshage did her doctorate on structural change processes in Berlin's industry in comparison to other German conurbations. Most recently, she was head of department at the Berlin-Brandenburg Office of Statistics, where her responsibilities included environmental statistics, environmental-economic accounts and sustainability. She played a leading role in the preparation of the Indicator Report for Sustainable Development Berlin.

"It is a matter close to my heart to link data in order to increase its potential for analysis. The establishment of the Research Data Center at the IOER is a welcome challenge. Here, too, the aim will be to further qualify existing databases, generate new data and integrate the stocks in such a way that there is added value in terms of information. I am also looking forward to working in the interdisciplinary team of the IOER and to the diverse interfaces that we will establish with the IOER RDC to science, politics and planning practice, but also to the wider society," says Dr Ramona Voshage.

Website of the IOER RDC online
The IOER Research Data Centre is funded by the Joint Science Conference (GWK) as a so-called specific Sondertatbestand (B1). The funding enables not only the establishment, but also the permanent operation. The IOER RDC thus represents a long-term strategic expansion of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development. On the new website of the IOER RDC interested parties can find out more about the work of the Research Data Centre. The website will be expanded gradually and will provide access to all the data sets, analyses, simulations and tools that the IOER RDC is compiling and developing.

Website of the IOER RDC (in German, English version follows soon)

Scientific contact at the IOER
Dr Ramona Voshage, head of IOER RDC, e-mail:

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.