Urban planning is a discipline central to the lives of the majority of people living on planet Earth. At the same time, urbanisation is among the major threats to ecosystems worldwide. Guiding the evolution of cities is therefore a crucial task to ensure the well-being and sustainable coexistence of People and Nature. In times of climate change and urban growth, social and environmental pressures are mounting on urban planning.
Responding to these challenges, planners increasingly understand the ecological, economic and social-political benefits of implementing urban green and blue infrastructure (GBI) in cities. The integration of knowledge of ecological systems and their functionality is at the heart of ecological sound urban planning. Key facets of this approach are the conservation and enhancement of urban ecosystems, as well as ensuring a sustainable management and equitable distribution of the ecosystem services they provide.
Ecological sound urban planning
Due to the interdisciplinary nature of urban planning problems, only diverse research groups are likely to come up with breakthrough new approaches. While planning scientists and practitioners have the crucial knowledge about the problems cities around the world are facing and how changes can be made, they need support and evidence of all applied urban disciplines. For instance, Remote sensing experts have a strong knowledge and awareness towards data and computational methods and Ecologists are process driven and systems thinkers.
Our approach of ‘Remote Sensing Aided Design’ aims to integrate this variety of knowledge in the process of urban planning and design. In our opinion, if we manage to combine these approaches, we are one step closer to answer some problems of the 21st century with adequate ecological urban design.