Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Robert Knippschild lis head of the IZS since 2016 and is a University professor at the International University Zittau (IHI) at Technische Universität Dresden. He is a spatial planner, studied in Dortmund, Liverpool, Krakow and Warsaw and completed his doctorate at the Faculty of Spatial Planning at the Technical University of Dortmund. Among other things, Robert Knippschild has worked as a freelancer and held visiting and substitute professorships at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Brandenburg and the Technische Universität Dresden. He is particularly interested in urban and regional transformation processes and instruments for their management. He is a reviewer for several journals and research funders.
Contact: Phone Dresden: +49 (0) 351 4679 216, Phone Görlitz: +49 (0) 3581 7924791,

Dr.-Ing. Katja Friedrich was already a research assistant at the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Spatial Development from 1999 to 2003 and has been back in the StadtumMig project since 2019. After training as a construction worker with the Abitur in Chemnitz and studying architecture in Dresden and Lisbon, she completed her doctorate in architectural theory on the topic of spatial appropriation at Technische Universität Dresden in 2011. Katja Friedrich taught at the TU Dresden at the Institute for Architectural History, Architectural Theory and Preservation of Monuments, at the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz in the subject of urban development and in 2011 at the Technical University Irkutsk, also in the subject of urban development. Main research interests are: Appropriation of space (at home and in the city), architectural theory, urban regeneration, temporary architecture, gardening in the city.
Contact: Phone +49 (0)351 46 79 297,

Sarah Hauck has been a secretary at the IZS since 2017 and also supports projects in the “Trial Residencies" series. In 2012, she began training as a real estate agent at KommWohnen Service GmbH in Görlitz and, after her training period, supported the "Trial Residence" project, among others
Contact: Phone +49 (0)3581 7924790,

Dr. Sebastian Heer has been a senior researcher at the Leibniz Institute for Ecological and Regional Development since 2018. After studying political science, law and modern history at Technische University Dresden and in Auckland, he completed his doctorate in 2012, funded by a scholarship from the Saxon Scholarship Programme for Talented Students. Before joining the IZS, he worked in research and cooperation projects on governance, institutional analysis and the construction of social order. His research interests include institutional and social transformation processes, institutional structure, function and development analyses, construction processes of social reality as well as the breakdown of political decision-making processes and their structural contexts. Scientific advice to actors from the parliamentary, executive and administrative spheres plays a special role in his work.
Contact: Phone +49 (0)351 4679 193,

Ritu George Kaliaden is an architect with a masters in International cooperation and urban development. She has eight years of professional experience working with research organisations and consultancies in India and abroad. Her area of focus has been urbandevelopment in developing countries including topics such as housing, sustainable livelihoods, migration, advocacy and urban governance. Her current field of research is sustainable development and international skilled migration with a focus on peripheralurban contexts in Europe. Ritu is currently pursuing her PhD in Urban Transformation. Her research examines international skilled migration in peripheral urban areas and how this contributes to sustainable urban transformation. Drawing on the concept of place attachment,she investigates how place characteristics influence attachment and settlement decisions among skilled international migrants in the city of Görlitz. Using a qualitative approach, she aims to develop deeper insights into how this group navigates the physicaland social landscape of peripheral cities. Through her work she aims to contribute to the city's sustainable development strategies which focus on attracting and retaining international talent.
Contact: Phone +49 (0) 3581 7924794,

Bettina Knoop has been a research assistant at the IZS since 2017 through the International University Zittau (IHI) of Technische Universität Dresden. She has a German-French double degree in International Tourism Management (B.A.) and studied geography in Passau and Wrocław in her Master's degree. Before coming to the IZS, Bettina Knoop was a research assistant at the Chair of Anthropogeography at the University of Passau. Her research focuses on socio-spatial dynamics in the context of urban shrinkage and peripherisation. In her current PhD project, she is looking at the production of urbanity in shrinking cities.
Contact: Phone +49 (0) 3581 7924794,

Linda Maiwald has been a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Spatial Development and the IZS since 2022. She coordinates the project “TRUST - Transfer of Knowledge on Urban Sustainability Transformations: Towards Climate Neutral Cities 2030 - Görlitz as a pilot”. Linda Maiwald studied Political Science (B.A.) and History (B.A.) in Leipzig before pursuing her research interest in climate policy and environmental economics in Utrecht (Netherlands) in the Sustainable Development M.Sc. programme. Today, her work and research focuses on transformation theory, sustainability concepts, resource management as well as regional and urban development.
Contact: Phone +49 (0)3581 7924795,

Dr.-Ing. Stefanie Rößler has been a research associate at the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Spatial Development since 2003 and a senior scientist and project manager at the IZS since 2014. After studying landscape architecture at Technische Universität (TU) Dresden, she completed her doctorate at the Faculty of Architecture of TU Dresden in 2009. Her dissertation was funded by a doctoral scholarship from the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt. Her research focuses on formal and informal instruments of urban and open space planning, instruments of urban renewal, open spaces and demographic change and open space planning adaptation strategies to the consequences of climate change. Stefanie Rößler has a lectureship at TU Dresden in the Master's programme in Spatial Development and Natural Resource Management and is active as a reviewer for scientific journals and research funders.
Contact: Phone +49 (0)351 4679 191,

Constanze Zöllter has been a research assistant at the Leibniz Institute for Ecological Spatial Development since 2015 and a doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at Technische Universität Dresden since 2018. After studying geography in Dresden and Venice, she was employed by the district of Görlitz and was responsible for the transferable processing of project results as part of the federal programme "Lernen vor Ort". Her research focuses on the urban development of small and medium-sized towns, revitalisation and urban renewal processes, and the possibilities of sustainable spatial development. Her dissertation deals with shrunken medium-sized towns and their potential as attractive places to live.
Contact: Phone +49 (0)3581 7924792,