Space for Cities: Enhancing efficiency, sustainability and quality of life in cities.

Eurisy has raised awareness on cities success stories through communication campaigns and workshops, allowing local administrations and stakeholders to share their experiences, assess their needs and inform them of funding and support opportunities to use satellite-based services.

In Europe 72% of people live in cities, and this percentage is expected to rise to 80% by 2050. Globally, 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. Cities are the powerhouses of economic growth, innovation and employment. Of the EU Gross Domestic Product, 85% originates from cities, and local governments alone are responsible for 44% of public investments in the EU-28. The concentration of people is functional to economic growth and increasing human capital.

Cities offer more jobs, better wages and intense cultural exchanges. Nevertheless, growing urban agglomerations also generate challenges in terms of physical and administrative infrastructures, environmental sustainability, social inclusion, and health. In Europe, cities use 80% of the produced energy. In 2015, European capital cities generated between 270 kg (Dublin) up to 666 kg of waste per capita (Luxembourg), with the average at 445 kg. Globally, cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, cities risk becoming “inequality traps”.

The Gini coefficient ― measuring inequality on a scale of zero to one ― shows a higher level of inequalities in cities than on the national average. Indeed, also major European cities have experienced an increase in spatial segregation during the last decade, with growing dissimilarities in levels of income, employment status or educational attainment. To address the challenges of urbanisation, it is necessary to develop new integral approaches to city management, leading to sustainable urbanisation. A city is sustainable when decisions are taken by considering their effects with a holistic approach, taking into account different areas, such as transport, health, environment, infrastructure and education, and their inter-relations.

In recent years, the “Smart City” topic has emerged as a major policy area in most European countries, and also the space community has been promoting programmes and activities to foster the use of satellite applications to increase quality of life in cities. Indeed, the “Smart City” topic is included in the programmes of many space agencies, stimulating the uptake of satellite-based services for different applications such as mobility, urban planning and infrastructure, Internet of Things, and energy.

The Space4Cities Initiative promotes the use of satellite applications to make our cities healthier, cleaner, safer, and more efficient.

The initiative aims to:

  • Highlight success stories from cities relying on innovative satellite-based services;
  • Foster the exchange of expertise and know-how among city managers, SMEs and stakeholders;
  • Identify challenges faced by local administrations and SMEs to access and use satellite data and signals;
  • Assess the needs of local administrations for which satellite-based services can contribute to the solution;
  • Make recommendations to service providers, space agencies and stakeholders on how to facilitate the use of satellite-based services at the city level.

Eurisy plans to identify and analyse more relevant use cases, to disseminate these further among a broad network of relevant stakeholders, and to participate in selected professional events within the topic of satellite-based urban applications.