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Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER)

General Description

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological and Regional Development is a non-university research centre in the field of spatial sciences, and a member of the Leibniz Association. Our subject is the sustainable development and transformation of cities and regions in the context of the global environmental crisis. We investigate dynamic interactions between ecosystems and society at and across multiple spatial scales, as well as options for responsible stewardship. Our research is inter- and transdisciplinary, working with stakeholders in the public, private and civil society sectors on knowledge co-production. We aim to foster just urban and regional transformations that enable humanity to thrive within a safe ecological operating space. Regional transformations in the context of global environmental change form a core competence field of the institute. Our research areas enable an integrated analysis of the social, economic and ecological dynamics unfolding in such complex spatial processes. Moreover, together with the Technische Universität Dresden the IOER operates the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ecological and Revitalizing Urban Transformation (IZS) located in Görlitz/Lausitz and specifically dedicated to address challenges of urban and regional transition towards sustainability in transdisciplinary collaboration with the stakeholders concerned.

Role in the project

IOER will contribute substantially to WP1 (Conceptual framework) and WP3 (Case studies: Coal regions), as well as WP5 (comparative case analysis) and WP6 (knowledge co-production and roadmap creation). In WP1 IOER will lead tasks 1.2 and 1.3 operationalising two theoretical key approaches of ENTRANCE, as well as contribute across tasks to the integrated perspective developed in cooperation with other partners. In WP 3 the institute will realise a case study about the Lausitz coal region. In WP5, IOER will support the comparative cross-case analysis and in WP6 work in the Lausitz region again on co-creating a roadmap together with regional stakeholders. The institute will also provide support to WP2 (methodology) and WP 7 (dissemination) including through various publications.

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram 
Director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development

I am working on the dynamics of urban and regional change and the strategies and approaches for steering such change towards sustainability. My focus is on innovations in urban and regional governance, policy, planning and design that enable and guide system transitions. This entails a concern for diverse socio-technical and social-ecological systems converging in human settlements, and the internal and external factors driving or inhibiting their transformation across spatial scales.

Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Knippschild
Head of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Transformative Urban Regeneration (IZS) in Görlitz and professor at the International Institute (IHI) Zittau, Central Academic Unit of TU Dresden

I work on strategies and instruments for sustainable urban development, border cities, quality of life in cities and regions, as well as inter-municipal and cross-border cooperation, urban and regional governance. I also head the Lausitz Project – Scientific Support of the Transformation Process in Lusatia Region, funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the aim of which is to identify and promote the potential for transformation in Lusatia on the basis of the institute’s many years of experience in studying sustainable transformation and processes of structural change in cities as well as post-mining and former industrial regions.

Dr. Tristam Barrett

A social anthropologist by training, I am interested in political economy and social transformations in general, and in understanding and supporting transformations to sustainability in particular. Before joining the ENTRANCES project, I conducted extensive fieldwork in the Caucasus and Central Asia, examining issues such as financialization of households, agricultural adaptation to climate change impacts, and sustainable water management in post-socialist settings.