A Science-Policy Interface

Fast change

The gain in scientific knowledge, but also the loss of biodiversity and other ecosystem functions is faster today than ever before. What is urgently needed are tools and frameworks that will enable us to better integrate and synthesize our knowledge base – to engage science in planning and major policy debates.

Remote sensing is a central building block for assessing the consequences of various developments in urban space in real time. The effects of land sealing can be calculated or existing areas with vegetation can be upgraded. The application can also be used to find alternative locations for urbanization projects where the impact on biodiversity or other ecosystem functions such as cooling can be minimized. This is a promising approach for a comprehensive analysis of settlement areas worldwide. A practical instrument can help to address the public, planning and other experts and to create a common working basis to support, for example, environmental impact analyses or to make participation more accessible and attractive.

Real-time urban analysis

Interactive communication

Interactive, user-friendly web tools and apps are a suitable way to prepare complex scientific findings for a broader public using methods of machine learning (also known as ‘artificial intelligence’). The software products we develop offer several useful aspects. They are published free of charge under an open source license. In addition, their core functions are based on machine learning methods, which allows a seamless integration into existing workflows of urban planners and nature conservation associations.

In order to achieve a wide distribution of our software tools, we will work directly with planning actors and thus take into account the practical requirements. From the planning side, there is a great interest in such cooperation’s, since our methods allow to estimate the effects of individual planning measures on urban biodiversity. You will soon be able to read about our projects in planning by our partners here.


Remote Sensing Aided Design

Our approach of ‘Remote Sensing Aided Design’ aims integrating our knowledge in the process of urban design. The design of urban systems is a transdisciplinary undertaking between the disciplines of urban planning, sociology, (landscape) architecture and environmental planning. The connection and critical reflection between these disciplines can be fostered with readily available tools delivering the full scope of environmental data in a highly accessible way.