Planning Cities and Regions of the Future

In 2050, 70 percent of the world's population will live in cities. In the same year, Germany is supposed to be climate neutral. This brings with it a variety of challenges. Cities are facing high settlement pressure. The available space must be divided wisely for living, working, leisure, mobility and recreation. Living and working space must be created in a way that conserves resources. An efficient and at the same time sustainable transport infrastructure is needed. In addition, cities of the future must be adapted to conditions caused by climate change, i.e. they must be resistant to periods of heat, heavy rain and flooding.  

Away from the metropolises, regions are struggling with structural change due to migration, ageing or the energy transition, among other things. Challenges arise at the socio-economic, socio-ecological and cultural levels. However, structural change can also offer opportunities. So how can successful structural change be supported and promoted? To what extent can planning strategies and instruments support the transformation process? How can existing neighbourhoods, cities and regions become permanently liveable and sustainable places?

In order to plan cities and regions of the future with foresight, fundamental knowledge, data and analytical and planning tools are needed. On the one hand, the IOER provides knowledge and data on building stock, land consumption and potential (e.g. building land reserves, inner development potential, solar potential). It develops instruments for analysis and planning, e.g. inner-city mobility. In addition, however, the IOER also conducts research on policy instruments that can cope with the extremely complex challenges.


Markus Egermann deals with the question of how municipal planning (transportation planning, urban planning, environmental planning, etc.) can address and shape the current transformation processes in society. In the coming years, this should increase the ability of municipalities to cope with the major socio-ecological challenges of the 21st century.

Robert Knippschild is a spatial planner and is particularly concerned with small and medium-sized towns as well as regions affected by structural change. He takes an integrated view of the overlapping demographic, socio-economic, ecological and social dynamics. Formal and informal planning instruments are used to revitalise cities and neighbourhoods and to transform the existing built environment.

Stefanie Rößler deals with objectives, measures and steering instruments of urban regeneration with a special focus on the development of green infrastructure. For a sustainable city, it is essential to recognise and strengthen the potentials of existing urban neighbourhoods and to develop them into places worth living in the long term.

Gerd Lintz analyses the regional political and planning processes in which decisions are made on the preservation, reclamation and ecological enhancement of open spaces. On the one hand, insights into successful open space policy can be utilised by actors within the processes. On the other hand, there are indications for the targeted design of the institutional framework conditions under which the actors interact.

Alejandro de Castro Mazarro

Gerold Janssen

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.