Global Urban Observation and Information Initiative and the UN SDG 11
Continued urbanization worldwide and associated environmental impacts have caught great attention in the remote sensing community and beyond. Earth observation technology, in conjunction with in situ data collection, has been used to observe, monitor, measure, and model many of the components that comprise urban environmental systems and ecosystems cycles for decades. There are a number of satellite remote sensing systems capable of imaging urban areas to the details needed for global assessment of urban systems. More capable satellite systems are under development to be launched in the near future by different nations, which are suited for establishment of a global urban observatory. Therefore, international collaboration is needed to produce consistent global maps of human settlements from various data sources, to validate data products, and to provide harmonized information and services for urban users. The Group on Earth Observation (GEO) calls for strengthening the cooperation and coordination among global observing systems and research programs for integrated global observations, and has developed a Global Urban Observation and Information (GUOI) Initiative since 2012. For the 2020-2022 Work Programme, GUOI intends to improve urban monitoring and assessment by developing a series of satellite based essential urban variables and indicators of sustainable cities through international cooperation and collaboration; to provide datasets, information, services to pertinent urban users; and to support UN SDG 11 – Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
By organizing this theme session, it is hoped that it will create an opportunity for discussion about potential synergies in data sets, products, resources, applications, benefits and future activities among international stakeholders and provide stimulations to interested researchers to join GUOI. It would also be proper to have a preliminary assessment of essential urban variables and indicators for sustainable cities that can be generated from Earth Observation data to support the SDG 11. This session will also discuss related issues on sensors, data, assessment and validation, and scales.
All are welcomed to join. In particular, I would like to invite potential new contributors, students, and young researchers to attend.
Keywords: Global urban observation; SDG 11; essential urban variables; sustainable city indicators; Earth Observation technologies; digital city; Future cities
Qihao Weng, Indiana State University, U.S.A.
George Xian, Earth Resources Observation and Science Center, the United States Geological Survey, U.S.A.