The concern of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is the scientific basis for the sustainable development of cities and regions in the national and international context. The IOER investigates how cities and regions can be developed with reasonable effort to offer the population the greatest possible quality of environment and life and to provide nature with far-ranging scope for development, to ensure urban and regional resource efficiency, and prevent environmental risks. Particular attention is paid to the global and regional challenges of urban and regional development, for example those posed by climate change and demographic change. On the basis of its findings the IOER advises government and society.
Research concentrates on four main areas: landscape change and management, resource efficiency of settlement structures, environmental risks in urban and regional development, monitoring of settlement and open space development. The institute also deals with strategic issues and perspectives on the sustainable and environmentally-friendly development of cities and regions.
In research and education the IOER cooperates closely with Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), e.g. regarding joint professorships, the promotion of young scientists (Dresden Leibniz Graduate School), and teaching in several master’s degree courses. It is actively involved in Dresden Concept, a research association which brings together scientific institutes located in the city of Dresden.
Major strategic partners are the other spatial research institutes (ARL, IfL, ILS, IRS) of the Leibniz Association. Together with IOER they form the 5R Network. Internationally, IOER coordinates the Network of Spatial Research and Planning Institutes in Central, Eastern and South Eastern Europe (spa-ce.net). Furthermore, it cooperates closely with numerous partners in Europe, East and South-East Asia, as well as from North and South America.
The IOER houses and maintains a comprehensive library with specialized materials and information in the spatial sciences. The institute also accommodates a contact point for a European Union cooperation programme: the CENTRAL EUROPE Contact Point Germany.