Leibniz Institute of Regional Geography (IfL), Leipzig, Germany

The Institute of Regional Geography (Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde/IfL), newly founded in 1992, is the only non-university geography research institute in Germany. It carries out research on the regional geography of Germany and Europe. Some 30 scientists and 30 support staff at the Leibniz Institute of Regional Geography are dedicated to the analysis of spatial developments in Europe and the presentation of their findings to the scientific community and the general public. Internal and external evaluation of its performance guarantees the maintenance of internationally competitive standards in the quality and efficiency of its research.
Particular research emphasis is placed on the analysis of divergences and convergences in the development of regions in Europe. The regional analyses concentrate on two types of regions: (1) urban and metropolitan regions and (2) peripheral regions. In the context of the current demand for scientific information on the spatially relevant consequences of post-socialist transformation and European integration, one main area of research is the analysis of spatial structures and recent development trends. The IfL has close research co-operations with scholars in Central and Eastern Europe and hosts several Eastern European guest scientists every year.
The research in urban and metropolitan regions is currently oriented around the theme of convergent and divergent developments of European urban and metropolitan regions under the influence of globalisation, transformation and European integration. The focus of current projects includes developments of the European metropolitan periphery (suburbia, postsuburbia, ‘Zwischenstadt’), housing and residential segregation in Central and Eastern European cities and issues of ‘shrinking cities’.
As editor of the multimedia, twelve-volume ‘National Atlas of Germany’ the IfL presents the newest and most up-to-date portrait of spatially differentiated information in printed and digital form. The National Atlas is the first publication to combine comprehensive information on the Physical and Human Geography of re-united Germany. Other strong points of the IfL include research on the theory of Regional Geography and the geographical archives.