Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER)


Lead of WP2 and Task 1.4; Contributor to Tasks 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1 and 4.2

Short description of the organisation

The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) is an establishment of the Leibniz Association for spatially oriented theme-based research focusing on ecological aspects of sustainable development. Our concern is the scientific basis for the sustainable development of cities and regions in the national and international context. We investigate 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 possibilities to develop that are resource-efficient and offer adequate safeguards against environmental risks. IOER pays particular attention to the global and regional challenges that climate and demographic change pose for urban and regional development. Our work focuses on interactions between society and the natural environment and the questions they raise. IOER’s research sets out to investigate the global and regional challenges facing cities and regions and their implications for spatial and environmental development. We set the following research priorities:

  • Landscape Change and Management,
  • Resource Efficiency of Settlement Structures,
  • Environmental Risks in Urban and Regional Development,
  • Monitoring of Settlement and Open Space Development,
  • Economic Aspects of Ecological Urban and Regional Development,
  • Ecological and Revitalizing Urban Transformation


Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Bernhard Müller (Regional Planner and Geographer) / (male) – has been head of Chair of Spatial Development of Technische Universität Dresden (TUD) since 2001. Bernhard Müller is within the scope of a common appeal at the same time executive director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER). As a director and senior researcher he has been responsible for more than thirty nationally funded projects by DFG or BMBF and over twenty international projects funded by the European Commission during the past seven years. Bernhard Müller is member of the Academy for Spatial Research and Planning (ARL), the National Academy of Science and Engineering (acatech), and the Saxon Academy of Sciences. He is also an honorary member of the Academy of Engineering Sciences of Serbia. Bernhard Müller has long standing academic and practical international experience in Europe, Asia, Africa, and in North and South America. In 2015/2016 for example, he participated as an expert for urban development and land management in one of the Policy Units in the preparation of the final document of the Habitat III-Conference in Quito (Ecuador). b.mueller@ioer.de

Dr. Andreas Otto (Geographer and Research Manager) / (male) – has been deputy director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) since 2014 and head of research management since 2009. Andreas Otto obtained a Diplom and holds a doctoral degree in Geography from Technische Universität Dresden (TUD). He also has a Masters degree in Public Administration from the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer. His scientific interest pertains to economic, social and ecological challenges and revitalization efforts of cities and small towns in an international context. He has been a frequent guest lecturer at TUD. As a research manager Andreas Otto focuses his attention on strategic issues and perspectives of knowledge transfer and policy advice, the internationalization of research and the sustainable organization of research planning and research processes. a.otto@ioer.de

Dr.-Ing. Xiaoping Xie (Urban Planner and Architect) / (female) – has been a scientist at IOER since 2014. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Master’s degree in Architecture Physics and Design in China and was awarded a Ph.D. in Germany based on research into urban spaces and urban development. She collaborated with Chinese and German experts in a few Sino-German joint projects on empirical and theoretical research on sustainable urban development based on international comparative studies of various development issues and by generalizing research findings from case studies. For instance, she works in a comparative study on informal urban development in India and China, and a joint Sino-German project on green belt planning and management in metropolitan regions for the Research Center of Urbanization of Zhejiang Province. She is co-author of the book “Living in China: A Survey of Changes in China’s Family Dwellings since 1949”. x.xie@ioer.de