Tracking progress towards the urban sustainability 2030 agenda: data, methods and patterns of change using Trends.Earth

Authors: Monica Noon*, Conservation International, Mariano Gonzalez Roglich*, Conservation International, Alex Ivan Zvoleff, Conservation International
Topics: Urban Geography, Remote Sensing, Sustainability Science
Keywords: urban, cities, landsat, time series, sprawl, sustainability, built up, impervious
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Marshall North, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban areas host now most of the human population worldwide, trends which will only exacerbate in the future. Numerous advantages come from living in cities, such as access to jobs, health, and education. However, not all cities are growing sustainably, and this affects the living conditions of millions across the globe. The 2030 sustainable development agenda has as one of its goals to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. To track progress, countries need to monitor indicator 11.3.1: Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate. In this paper, we present: a methodology, a tool, and a comparative analysis of patterns of urban expansion in developing regions. The methodology for mapping urban extent uses time series of satellite data, cloud computing, and machine learning algorithms to generate high accuracy 30 m urban extent maps anywhere in the globe for the years 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. The algorithms are embedded into an innovative free and open source global tool called Trends.Earth which allows for the integration of multitemporal high spatial resolution urban extent maps, population, and custom data to generate analysis of changes in land consumption and population density. We present results of an analysis of urban dynamics and densification at national scales for Latin America and Africa. Achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 will only be possible with robust methods to track progress, accessible data, and capacity building, we present here a contribution in that direction.

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