Bremen, 27. October 2022. OHB Digital Services GmbH, a subsidiary of the space group OHB SE, has been commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA) to coordinate the "Urban Green View" project. Together with the cities of Essen, Bochum and Dortmund, a study will investigate how satellite data, especially earth observation data, can be used to monitor and plan urban green in a more targeted manner to tackle climate change better. For this, the space experts are contributing their combined digital expertise. The "Urban Green View" consortium also includes OHB Digital Connect and the University of Trier as partners. Both of the mentioned OHB companies are part of the "Digital" segment, which is the third business unit of the OHB space group alongside "Space Systems" and "Aerospace".
Already now, our cities are heating up more and more due to ongoing global warming. Heat waves are on the rise; by the year 2040, they are expected to quadruple compared to the first decade of the 21st century. Trees, bushes, flowers and meadows help to combat heat in cities. They produce oxygen and cool buildings as well as overheated streets. Recent studies clearly show that greenery in the city is one of the best measures against heat stress. But how can urban greening be better and more specifically monitored and planned? What are the needs of municipalities? What kind of data do urban planners, architects, environmental agencies or landscaping and horticulture need in order to create green zones for cold air production? How large do the green areas have to be to offer people enough cooling? And which plants are best suited for the green lungs in the city? "The project is a wonderful challenge for us. Above all, it is exciting to use earth observation data to build an innovative data service and develop platforms that will help our society to better counter the effects of climate change with intelligent measures," says project manager Dr.-Ing. Danijela Ristic-Durrant, the expert for AI and "computer vision" at OHB Digital Services.
It is not yet clear which satellite data are suitable and to what extent. According to Danijela Ristic-Durrant, the feasibility study aims to focus on services based on satellite data such as Copernicus Sentinels, other non-commercial satellite missions, e.g. Landsat, existing earth observation products, LiDAR, commercial satellite data as well as the MTG or EnMAP satellite missions. Combinations with other data sources, such as local sensors, would also be considered. "The project has just started, however the exchange and dialogue with our partners and stakeholders is already very intensive and inspiring. Our task now is to use our high level of expertise from space to develop good and sustainable solutions for us on Earth," says the project manager.
Dr Frank Knospe, Head of the City Office for Geoinformation, Surveying and Cadastre in Essen, is looking forward to the cooperation and exchange with the space experts, because for his city as well as for the entire Ruhr area, satellite data are of crucial importance in planning. “The high temporal resolution of Copernicus sensors makes it possible to understand the ,organism’ of settlement and urban green structures. Thus, the challenges in the context of adaptation to the consequences of climate change can be recorded, observed in trend and ultimately managed on a scalable level form a local and regional sight,” says Knospe.
In addition to OHB Digital Services as the coordinator of the project, the "Urban Green View" consortium is complemented by the two partners OHB Digital Connect and the University of Trier. In addition, stakeholders from the German Ruhr area, represented by the cities of Essen, Bochum and Dortmund, as well as the offices for regional planning and water management are involved in the study from its onset as potential end-users. The project "Urban Green View" is funded by the European Space Agency ESA in the ARTES 4.0 Generic Programme Line Business Applications - Space Solutions (BASS) Feasibility Study “Space for Urban Green”. At ESA, Roberta Mugellesi Dow supervises the Urban Green View project.