IOER Annual Conference 2022 "Space & Transformation: Liveable Futures"

On 22 and 23 September the IOER Annual Conference "Space & Transformation: Liveable Futures" took place at the Deutsches Hygiene-Museum Dresden. The conference focused on social and ecological change in neighbourhoods, cities and regions and discussed this topic in a transdisciplinary environment with actors from science and practice.

In the face of rapidly changing social and environmental conditions and high degrees of uncertainty transformative development is key for realizing liveable futures. Human activities, economic practices and settlement patterns have fundamentally altered foundations of life such as regional climate, ecosystem services, biodiversity, and resource availability. In turn, settlements and open spaces are increasingly threatened by natural hazards.

How could possible futures look like that we consider as "liveable" under these conditions? What capacities for adaptation and change, what "transformative capacities" are needed to realize them? And what role does the progressing digitalisation play in this? These urgent questions were discussed together with participants from science and practice on 22 and 23 September 2022 at the German Hygiene Museum in Dresden.

In 20 sessions five key topics were addressed in depth in lecture and dialogue formats. Transformation dynamics related to urban spaces, urban-rural relations and power relations were highlighted as well as visions, pathways and experiments to co-create liveable futures. It was also discussed how built and unbuilt landscapes could be transformed in a sustainable way and how spatial information for this change could be co-produced.

In intriguing keynote speeches, Ann Light, Professor at the Universities of Sussex and Malmö, Cordula Kropp, Professor at the University of Stuttgart and Erik Gómez-Baggethun, Professor at the University of Oxford and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences spoke about heterogeneous human-environment relationships in cities and discussed from different perspectives how cities can become liveable in the future.   

In the afternoon, these discussions were continued and deepened in short excursions to the “Zündstoffe - Materialvermittlung Dresden”, as well as to the community garden of the “Edible Public Urban Green”. Both projects were developed by Dresden citizens within the framework of the City of the Future Dresden initiative [Zukunftsstadt Dresden].

The day before the conference the Summer School of the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS) took place under the same title. Young researchers presented their projects and discussed their ideas and results among themselves. Prof Ina Horlings (University of Groningen) provided interesting impulses for discussion in her workshop on “Engaged scholarship and co-creativity: Are you a change agent?.”

Link to the IOER Annual Conference

Contact at the IOER
Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, Dr. Regine Ortlepp, Dr. Georg Schiller and Alina Kaltenberg (concept),
Katrin Vogel (organization)

Follow us on twitter: @IOER_conference

Photos: Anna-Maria Schielicke/IOER-Media
More photo impressions can be found on IOER's Annual Conference website


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.