Dec 06, 2017

WorldDEM Urban Footprint - Mapping the World's Human Settlements

We live in a dynamic and urbanising world. People move, megacities of unimaginable proportions are developing rapidly. Currently, more than half of the world’s population live in cities. Cities have always been similar to living organisms – they grow, impact their surroundings and are influenced by their environment, they experience good and bad fortunes and sometimes can disappear entirely from the screen.

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Hazards such as volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, cyclones, floods, and droughts may be more destructive in areas that have undergone urbanisation. Accordingly, cities must constantly adapt to changing environmental conditions and political and social circumstances.

_ WorldDEM Urban Footprint (orange) on a UK-DMC2 image – Nuevo Laredo, Mexico_

A good understanding of the evolution of human settlements is key to developing strategies to assure sustainable urban development and improved community resilience.
WorldDEM Urban Footprint – What is in it for you?

A reliable global reference layer about the presence of human settlements and urban structures is the basis for

  • the mapping of human settlements and the analysis of settlement patterns,
  • regional statistics and population distribution,
  • the monitoring of urban sprawl, hot-spots like urban development areas & global megacity development,
  • environmental studies,
  • exposure mapping in hazard modelling,
  • modelling the potential effects of climate change on human settlements,

to derive conclusions and strategies on how to deal with global change, climate change, natural disasters, geo-risks, political conflicts, access to resources, poverty, international humanitarian crises, carbon emissions, environmental threats and risks to our ecosystem induced by the impact of human intervention, and the need of making energy production sustainable.

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