KTH ROYAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN STOCKHOLM (SE)
More than half of the people on the planet live in cities and the situatiuon will further worsen with another 2.5 billion people expected to move into cities by 2050. The information decision makers need for their urban planning activities are either non-existent, outdated or collected through time-consuming field surveys or visual interpretation of areal images. Timely, reliable and consistent information on urban land cover and its changing patterns from satellite data is of critical importance to support sustainable urban development. Despite the growing importance of urban land mapping, it remains difficult to map globally and systematically urban areas, due to the heterogeneous mix of land cover types in urban environments, and to the cost of commercial airborne and satellite data. With the recent launches of Sentinel-1 and Sentinel-2, high resolution SAR and optical data with global coverage and free and open data policies are now available, which allow an operational and reliable global urban land mapping to become achievable.
EO4URBAN developed some novel and innovative approaches for global urban services around Sentinel 1 C-SAR and Sentinel 2 MSI in support to sustainable urban development. The fusion of SAR and optical data has been proven advantageous due to the complementary nature of the data. Both SAR and optical data have their own merits and limitations, thus the fusion of SAR and optical data can overcome the deficiencies associated with single sensor approaches. The projects evaluated the added value of a joint use of Sentinel 1 and Sentinel 2 in urban land cover and urban extent mapping. Pilot products were developed for 10 cities around the world that represents different urban realities.