The research of the IZS is guided by the research programme of the IOER and is assigned to the research area Transformative Capacities. The guiding questions of this research area are:
- How can the transformative capacities of urban and regional systems be understood and conceptualised?
- How can the transformative capacities of specific urban and regional systems be identified, assessed and compared?
- How can governance approaches, instruments and methods be designed to increase the capacity to initiate, navigate, accelerate and stabilise transformative change in cities and regions?
Within this research area and its guiding questions, specific aspects of transformative change in small and medium-sized towns in peripheral locations as well as in regions affected by structural change are studied in depth at the IZS. With this, the IZS is equally embedded in the research profile of the IHI Zittau focused on „Biodiversity and responsible management”.