Earth Observation for Sustainable Urban Planning in Developing Countries: Needs, Trends, and Future Directions

Walter Musakwa, Adriaan van Niekerk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cities are constantly changing and authorities face immense challenges in obtaining accurate and timely data to effectively manage urban areas. This is particularly problematic in the developing world where municipal records are often unavailable or not updated. Spaceborne earth observation (EO) has great potential for providing up-to-date spatial information about urban areas. This article reviews the application of EO for supporting urban planning. In particular, the article overviews case studies where EO was used to derive products and indicators required by urban planners. The review concludes that EO has sufficiently matured in recent years but that a shift from the current focus on purely science-driven EO applications to the provision of useful information for day-to-day decision-making and urban sustainability monitoring is clearly needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-160
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Planning Literature
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • earth observation (EO)
  • rapid urbanization
  • sustainable urban development
  • urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development

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