Three scientists of the IOER receive Best Papers certificate

The editors of the journal "International Journal of Coal Science & Technology", published by Springer, have honoured three scientists of the Leibniz-Institut of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) with the "Certificate of Best Papers 2020". Peter Wirth, Ralf-Uwe Syrbe and Wolfgang Wende received the award for their paper "Green infrastructure: a planning concept for the urban transformation of former coal-mining cities". They had published the paper in 2018 together with Chinese colleagues Jiang Chang und Tinghao Hu from Chinese University of Mining and Technology in Xuzhou.

To award the certificate, the international editorial team examined how frequently the 126 articles published in the journal from 2017 to 2019 were downloaded and cited. The contribution by the authors of the IOER was in the top group. "As the example shows, questions about the sustainability transformation of cities are also attracting interest in journals with a technical-engineering orientation," says Peter Wirth. The precondition for this is that the topics are interdisciplinary and that solutions for current problems are offered.

Green infrastructure - the topic addressed in the paper - is a concept that aims to strategically plan a network of valuable natural and semi-natural areas. The network is designed and developed to provide a wide range of ecological services and to protect biodiversity in rural and urban areas. With regard to the recultivation of former mining areas, the IOER researchers propose in their paper to combine the concept of green infrastructure with specific concepts of environmental rehabilitation. They examined corresponding strategies using two case studies from Germany and China. Although there are significant differences in the post-mining development strategies of these two countries, the advantages of the green infrastructure concept become clear: First, it allows for a systematic and very objective assessment of mining impacts on the ecosystem. Second, the concept helps to implement urban sustainability goals. Thirdly, it emphasises local specificities of landscapes. And finally, the green infrastructure concept is highly compatible with urban, regional and landscape planning tools.

Original publication (Open Access):

Wirth, Peter; Chang, Jiang; Syrbe, Ralf-Uwe; Wende, Wolfgang; Hu, Tinghao: Green infrastructure: a planning concept for the urban transformation of former coal-mining cities. In: International Journal of Coal Science & Technology 5 (2018) 1, S. 78-91.

Contact at the IOER

Dr. Peter Wirth, E-Mail:

Dr. Ralf-Uwe Syrbe, E-Mail:

Dr. Wolfgang Wende, 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 institute is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.