IOER in the Leibniz Association

The IOER engages in the Leibniz Association in a variety of ways.

It thus supports the overarching scientific and research policy objectives of the Association while pursuing its own strategic goals in accordance with its statutes (German) and Mission Statement. Due to its interdisciplinary constitution the institute is a member of Section B (Economics, Social Sciences, Spatial Research) as well as an associate member of Section E (Environmental Sciences).

Strategy Forum on Research Assessment

In February 2024, this strategy forum was set up by the Leibniz Executive Board to encourage the further development of Leibniz evaluation and assessment procedures. To this end, various inter-/national activities for the reform of scientific performance assessment (including CoARA) are to be considered, fields of action identified and recommendations for implementation developed.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram (Member)

Steering Group Sustainability

The Steering Group Sustainability set up by the Board of the Leibniz Association in June 2022, headed by Dr. Bettina Böhm (Secretary General), Prof. Barbara Sturm (Vice-President) and Prof. Stephan Juncker (Vice-President) aims to further develop the conceptual and operational foundations for a comprehensive take up of the sustainability paradigm in the Leibniz institutions and to provide impetus for implementation. This concerns research programs and transfer as well as organization and operation.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram (Member)

Leibniz Research Networks (LRN)

Leibniz research networks are dedicated to a particular topic and are set up by the Leibniz Board at the suggestion of the community. The aim is to bundle, exchange and further develop the professional and methodical-technical competencies of the participating Leibniz institutes and to make them widely visible. In particular, the IOER plays a leading role in co-shaping the following LRN:

LRN Spatial Knowledge for Society and Environment (Leibniz R): The very first research network of the Leibniz Association, co-initiated by the IOER, analyzes social, ecological and economic processes and their interactions in their spatial contexts. The network bundles the spatial science expertise of the Leibniz Association. Among other things, it organizes the Spatial Sciences Colloquium every two years at the interface of science, practice, politics and civil society, and publishes the journal "Spatial Research and Planning".

Contact: Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram (Spokesperson)

Raumforschung und Raumordnung | Spatial Research and Planning: This interdisciplinary journal addresses issues of spatial development and planning. It focuses on urban and regional planning, demographic and urban spatial change, landscape development, environmental planning, sustainable development, adaptation to climate change, mobility, economic geography, regional governance and planning theories

Contact: Dr. Mathias Jehling (Editorial Board Member)

LRN Integrated Earth System Research: The research network coordinated by IOER fosters (i) a holistic view on the interrelations between the Earth system and society across spatial and temporal scales, (ii) the derivation of references for decisions and actions and approaches for international agreements and assessment reports, as well as (iii) the identification of capacities and levers for global sustainability transformations.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jochen Schanze (Spokesperson)

LRN Knowledge for Sustainable Development: The network, co-founded by the IOER, supports theoretical and methodological developments in the sustainability sciences and bundles corresponding inter- and transdisciplinary competencies. Through joint research, a range of event formats and transfer activities it is committed to enhance the effectiveness and visibility of research for sustainable development.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram (Co-Spokesperson)

LRN Environmental Crisis – Crisis Environments (CrisEN): The aim of the research network is to examine environmental crises and their social, political, economic, legal and cultural context in a global perspective. Knowledge is generated that helps to better understand the mechanisms of crises in their complexity as well as the interdependencies between the different crisis phenomena. Based on the findings, options for the societal crisis management are developed.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jochen Schanze (Member of the Steering Group)

LRN Biodiversity: The research network combines the expertise of various Leibniz institutions from the environmental, life, spatial, social and economic sciences. The scientists conduct interdisciplinary research to explore the biological diversity of life and to find socially relevant solutions for the protection of biodiversity and its sustainable use. Together with external partners, the members of the network address questions of particular societal relevance on a national and international level. Another focus of the LRN is the knowledge transfer for politics and society with the ambition to raise awareness for the ongoing loss of biodiversity and to support the general appreciation of biodiversity in society.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Wende (Member of the Steering Group)

Leibniz Research Alliances (LRA)

Leibniz Research Alliances pursue the goal of bundling complementary competencies of the institutes and thus paving the way for particularly successful research projects with a high profile. They are central contact points for policy makers and business, sponsors, the media and civil society. Leibniz Research Alliances are open to cooperation with universities, other non-university research and infrastructure facilities, as well as international research groups and partners from industry. The IOER contributes with its interdisciplinary spatial and environmental science competence to the following LRA:

LRA INFECTIONS in an Urbanizing World - Humans, Animals, Environments: Ziel des Forschungsverbunds ist es, Strategien für Frühwarnsysteme und Risikoabschätzungen zu entwickeln, die die schnelle Ausbreitung von Krankheitserregern verhindern und somit das Management von Infektionsausbrüchen unter dem Gesichtspunkt von One Health für Mensch und Tier verbessern können. Das IÖR befasst sich insbesondere mit Risiken durch die räumliche Ausbreitung von antibiotikaresistenten Keimen sowie deren Reduzierung durch lokale und regionale Governance.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Jochen Schanze

Leibniz Competition

In the context of the Leibniz Competition the Institute regularly competes for funding to implement strategic projects and promote outstanding scientists. Currently, the following projects are realized in this context:

Leibniz-Junior Research Group:
Urbane Mensch-Natur Resonanz für eine Nachhaltigkeitstransformation (URBNANCE)

In an era characterised by exceeded planetary boundaries and rapid urbanization, the material and immaterial (re-)connection of human and nonhuman nature is crucial. In view of these challenges, the interdisciplinary junior research group develops as a potential lever for sustainability transformations the conceptual account "urban human-nature resonance" for 1) describing urban human-nature connection integratively, 2) assessing responsive human-nature connections and 3) exploring human-nature connection impacts on sustainability transformation.

Contact: Dr. Martina Artmann

Transfer of Urban Sustainability Transition Knowledge: Towards Climate-Neutral Cities 2030 – The City of Görlitz as a Pilot  (TRUST)

In the TRUST project, the IOER is breaking new ground in the field of knowledge transfer. With the goal of making the city of Görlitz climate-neutral by 2030+, visions, transformation paths and experiments are co-produced within a transdisciplinary and transformative research approach (transition governance). TRUST builds on current findings from sustainability, transformation and urban research. The Görlitz pilot project is a reference case for other German and European small and medium-sized cities in peripheral regions.

Contact: Dr. Markus Egermann

Leibniz-Kooperative Exzellenz:
Landscape Criticality in the Anthropocene – Biodiversity, Renewables and Settlements (CriticaL)

In the project, the permeability of built-up areas, in particular of wind and solar power plants, for wildlife is to be investigated. Data on the movement behavior of wildlife will be linked to the locations of energy plants and thus impermeability will be identified and ideas for increasing permeability will be developed. In a collaboration between spatial planning, physics and ecology, the project aims to contribute to identifying land use concepts that reconcile biodiversity conservation and climate mitigation.

Contact: Dr. Martin Behnisch

Working Groups

Staff members of the IOER participate in a number of Leibniz working groups (WG) for continuous networking and exchange at all levels:

WG Libraries and Information Centres - Contact:  Evi Rockstroh
WG Equal Opportunities and Diversity - Contact: Ulrike Schinke und Dr. Neelakshi Joshi
WG Citizen Science - Contact: Dr. Anna-Maria Schielicke
WG Europe - Contact: N.N.
WG Finance - Contact: Heike Bernhardt
WG Research Data - Contact: Dr. Stefano Della Chiesa
WG International Affaires - Contact N.N.
WG IT - Contact: Carsten Hantzsch
WG Sustainability Management – Contact:  N.N.
WG Open Access - Contact: Evi Rockstroh
WG Press and Public Relations - Contact:  Heike Hensel
WG Legal and HR - Contact: Heike Bernhardt
WG Knowledge Transfer - Contact: Dr. Anna-Maria Schielicke

The Leibniz Association (Wissenschaftsgemeinschaft Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz e. V.) connects 97 independent research institutions. Their focus ranges from the natural, engineering and environmental sciences to economics, spatial and social sciences and the humanities.


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.