- Supporting the Sustainable Development of Cities by Means of Earth Observation Techniques    click here to open paper content1986 kb
by    Esch, Thomas & Taubenböck, Hannes & Heldens, Wieke | Thomas.Esch@dlr.de   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper introduces earth observation (EO) applications including change detection, monitoring urban sprawl, modelling imperviousness and microclimate, deriving socio-economic characteristics and assessing vulnerability towards natural desasters.
In the last decades the world has faced a constantly accelerating growth of urban areas. The resulting rapid changes in urban environments involve considerable challenges with respect to the observation, analysis and understanding of the complex processes affecting and forming the environmetal, economic and social dimension of urban agglomerations. Hence, effective and sustainable urban management increasingly requires innovative concepts and techniques to obtain up-to-date, independent and area-wide information on the characteristics and development of the urban system. Traditionally, urban and regional planning instruments rely on data provided by statistical or topographical surveys. However, such data often shows a comparably coarse spatial and temporal resolution. Morever, the production is very time consuming and cost-intensive - properties which significantly restrict periodic updates, especially in developing countries.
Space- and airborne earth observation (EO) has become a promising and cost-effective tool to provide updated geoinformation and indicators on various aspects of built-up areas in manifold spatio-temporal dimensions. Thus, the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD) of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) has increasingly researched into the support of urban and spatial planning by means of remote sensing techniques and EO-based geoinformation products. In this paper we introduce selected applications and techniques such as change detection - e.g. to detect informal settlements or activities in critcal zones such as nature protection areas or regions at risk of floodings -, the monitoring of urban sprawl, the modelling of imperviousness and urban-micro climate or deriving socio-economic characteristics and assessing the vulnerability of cities towards natural desasters. The approaches were applied and assessed in various regions of the world, ranging from industrial nations to developing countries.
earth observation, geoinformation, indicators, sustainability, vulnerability
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