Advances in remote sensing applications for urban sustainability
Euro-Mediterranean Journal for Environmental Integration
It is essential to monitor urban evolution at spatial and temporal scales to improve our understanding of the changes in cities and their impact on natural resources and environmental systems. Various aspects of remote sensing are routinely used to detect and map features and changes on land and sea surfaces, and in the atmosphere that affect urban sustainability. We provide a critical and comprehensive review of the characteristics of remote sensing systems, and in particular the trade-offs
... r the trade-offs between various system parameters, as well as their use in two key research areas: (a) issues resulting from the expansion of urban environments, and (b) sustainable urban development. The analysis identifies three key trends in the existing literature: (a) the integration of heterogeneous remote sensing data, primarily for investigating or modelling urban environments as a complex system, (b) the development of new algorithms for effective extraction of urban features, and (c) the improvement in the accuracy of traditional spectral-based classification algorithms for addressing the spectral heterogeneity within urban areas. Growing interests in renewable energy have also resulted in the increased use of remote sensing-for planning, operation, and maintenance of energy infrastructures, in particular the ones with spatial variability, such as solar, wind, and geothermal energy. The proliferation of sustainability thinking in all facets of urban development and management also acts as a catalyst for the increased use of, and advances in, remote sensing for urban applications.