The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated in drastic fashion the inextricable link between human well-being and healthy ecosystems. Today, however, ecosystems and biodiversity around the world are facing considerable societal pressures and are moving dangerously close to critical tipping points: ecosystems and their services are being degraded to such an extent that more than one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Significant non-renewable natural resources are being overexploited while cascading environmental risks threaten the livelihoods of large sections of the population. For these reasons, transformative change seems more urgent than ever.

This is particularly true with regard to spatial development, insofar as the relationship between humans and nature is negotiated and shaped directly in landscapes, regions, cities and urban districts. So what needs to be achieved in spatial development within the next 10 to 20 years to ensure that humans can permanently live in harmony with nature? How can novel human-nature partnerships and vibrant human-nature relationships be shaped at different spatial scales?  

These questions are at the heart of the IOER Conference 2024. In the run-up to the UN Summit of the Future 2024, we investigate which spatial approaches and methods can help to greatly accelerate the replacement of destructive ways of living and doing business with sustainable ones. In particular, the focus is on perspectives and approaches that can enable and drive such transformative change, such as:

  • positive visions of a good life that inspire and motivate individual and collective actors in spatial development;
  • strategies and tools for transformative governance, planning, innovation and revitalisation;
  • complex spatial analyses, indicators, models and simulations;
  • circularity and resilience in building and settlement development;
  • regeneration of ecosystems and biodiversity as well as nature-based solutions.

Link to the detailed description of the tracks

At the IOER Conference 2024, we wish to address this urgent need for social, ecological and technical systems, targets and transformation knowledge on spatial development. You can look forward to presentations by German and international experts and actors as well as by scientists from all IOER research areas.
As part of the conference, the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School, jointly run by the IOER and TU Dresden, is organising its international Summer School for PhD students on the same overarching topic on 25 September 2024.

Registration for the event is open.
Registration deadline: 25 August 2024

Link to the online form