IOER mourns its founding director Hans Petzold

On 6 November 2021, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Petzold, the first Director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), passed away after a serious illness. He headed the Institute from 1992 to 1996. He had accompanied the founding of the IOER in the period of German reunification through tireless commitment and with vision.

“We are very saddened by the news of Professor Petzold's death. His immense achievements in building up the Institute and his scientific work in the field of urban development and urban ecology will remain unforgotten. The successful path of IOER over the past 30 years would have been inconceivable without the outstanding commitment and pioneering work of Hans Petzold,” says Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram, Director of IOER. “We will continue to honour his memory in the future. Our thoughts are now with his wife and family.”

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Müller, Director of the IOER from 1997 to 2019, writes on the death of Hans Petzold: “Without Hans Petzold, the Institute would not exist today. And it would not have become what it is. He was a source of ideas and founding director. He was a person who could mediate, who knew how to bring together staff with different experiences and socialisations to form a successful team. And he always and unswervingly fought for his convictions. As his successor, I owe him a lot. I will miss him very much.”

Prof. Dr. Wendelin Strubelt, founding member of the IOER and member of the Board of Trustees, expresses his sadness as follows: “With Hans Petzold, we have lost an intellectually stimulating and insistently critical, even disputatious colleague. He was a scientist and a lovably gnarled person. I miss him as a clever conversationalist and knowledgeable colleague from whom I experienced and learned a lot, not least in the small 'excursions' I was able to take with him.”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans Petzold was director of the IOER in Dresden from 1992 to 1996. He was an architect and, from 1997, honorary professor and head of the urban planning department at the Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences. After completing his studies in architecture with a focus on urban planning at the Technische Universität Dresden, he was initially an assistant at the Institute for Urban Planning of the TU Dresden (1965-1969) and a prize-winner in various urban planning ideas competitions. From 1970 he was head of the Department of Urban Hygiene at the Institute for Urban Planning and Architecture of the Building Academy (Bauakademie) of the GDR and from 1988 head of the Department of Urban Ecology at the Institute for Concrete Research (Institut für Betonforschung). During the period of German reunification, he was director of the Saxon Building Institute (Sächsisches Bauinstitut), which finally merged into the newly founded IOER in 1992. With his conceptual considerations and intensive efforts to found an institute that answers questions of spatial planning and development under ecological aspects, he played a decisive role in the founding of today's Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development. His work and research foci related in particular to urban ecology and sustainable urban development.

Hans Petzold was 85 years old. In memory of his services to the IOER, the staff bid farewell to the Institute's founding director and wish his family a lot of strength during the period of mourning.

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.