Space for cities: from innovation to operation. A talk about concrete uses of satellite data and services to support cities’ resilience and sustainability


Online event

Philippe Blanc, ARMINES, France

Prof. Philippe Blanc is the deputy head of the departement Energy and Processes of MINES ParisTech and is a researcher for the center Observation, Impacts, Energy (OIE) ( He is working on the modeling of solar radiation and its assessment from in situ measurements or/and satellite images. His background is related to signal and image processing, data sciences and applied mathematics. He is associate editor for the ISES Solar Energy journal (Elsevier) and he is the leader of the sub-task 2 ‘Enhanced data & bankable products‘ of the Task 16 ‘Solar resource for high penetration and large-scale applications’ for the PVPS program of the International Energy Agency. He is also the showcase leader (PI) for Renewable Energy Showcase of the on-going Horizon 2020 project e-shape (

Judith Borsboom-van Beurden, Locality

Judith Borsboom-van Beurden is the founder of Locality, a company focusing on research and innovation management in the field of smart climate-neutral cities. Before, she initiated and contributed to several smart sustainable city research and innovation projects with local authorities across Europe, where ICT, modelling and geo-data support policy and decision making on and investments in smart, local solutions for decarbonized cities with a low environmental footprint. She led the work on EIP-SCC’s Smart City Guidance Package, developed together with nearly 100 European cities, businesses and research, published in 2019. Currently, Judith supports EC DG-Ener as Action Cluster Coordinator in the EIP-SCC Marketplace team. In addition, she supports the Mission Board on Smart and Climate-neutral Cities for EC DG-RTD with foresight on demand by drafting a scoping paper, helping the Mission Board with ad hoc knowledge needs and co-authoring the final report. Lastly, Judith is an active member of smart city lighthouse project Smarter Together’s advisory board.

Hesham El-Askary, Schmid College of Science and Technology

Prof. Hesham El-Askary teaches Remote Sensing and Earth Systems Scienc and is the Director of Computational & Data Sciences Graduate Programs at the Center of Excellence in Earth Systems Modeling & Observations of the Schmid College of Science and Technology of the Chapman University, USA. He served as the regional coordinator on a $3 million Euro grant from the European Union’s (EU) Horizon 2020. He studies extreme events, air pollution problems over mega cities, climate change and its impacts on sea level rise and coral reefs for coastal areas. He also employs earth observations in studying the impact of sever dust storms causing anomalous chlorophyll outbreaks in the marine environment, hurricanes intensification as well as transport of microbes’ causing Kawasaki disease outbreaks.

Pablo Ezquerro Martin, Spanish Geological and Mining Institute (IGME) 

Pablo Ezquerro Martín, Researcher from the Geohazards InSAR laboratory and Modelling Group of the Spanish geological survey geo-hazards department. Their work aims to combine radar satellite observations of Earth’s surface displacements, with geo-thematic layers, to advance the understanding of the mechanisms that control geo-hazards, quantifying hazards and evaluating the risk.

Dr. Evangelos Gerasopoulos, Research Director at the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA)

His research interests include air quality, aerosol research, climate change and relevant synergistic interactions with the use of Earth observations. He is the Director of the Greek GEO Office (2014 –present), represents Greece in the relevant international bodies in the field of Earth observation (i.e. GEO Programme Board/UN – 2015-present, EuroGEOSS Coordination Group/EC, 2017-present), he is Member of Special Scientific Committee on Climate Change, Ministry of Environment and Energy (2020) among others. He has participated in/coordinated more than 35 European and National projects among which the smart city project SMURBS/ERA-PLANET, coordinated by NOA under his guidance.

Annemarij Kooistra, Program Director, Department of Engineering, City of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Annemarij Kooistra has a Master degree in Engineering Geology from the Delft University. She worked during 10 years in construction works, in the Netherlands and abroad. Since 2010, Annemarij is employed at the Engineering Department of the Municipality of Amsterdam.

Panagiotis Kosmopoulos, National Observatory of Athens, Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development

Panagiotis Kosmopoulos is a postdoctoral researcher at the National Observatory of Athens in Greece with a 15-year experience (>100 publications; h-index 20) in renewable energy through various EU-funded projects (e.g. EuroGEO e-shape, GEO-Cradle). He exploits Earth Observations, modelling and forecasting techniques and high-performance computing for environmental research and all-scale solar plants management (

David Ludlow, Associate Professor European Smart Cities, University of the West of England, Bristol

David Ludlow is an urban planner with substantial practice-based experience in UK government agencies and consultancy, and for the past 25 years has promoted applied research on urban governance and sustainable development at UWE. He is member of the EU Expert Group on the Urban Environment (DG Environment), and advisor to DG Connect for the Smart Cities Open Governance Programme, as well as supporting the European Space Agency and European Environment Agency in the development of the Copernicus.  Overall, he has been responsible for the development and implementation of more than 50 major EU funded international research and innovation projects.

Cristina Martinez, Deputy Head of Unit, Smart Mobility and Living, European Commission, DG CNECT

Cristina Martinez started her career in the United Nations working on an IT track and trace software project for Africa, Asia and Latin-America. She then joined the Andersen Consulting company in 1998 as a consultant in the eCommerce group of the Technology department. She became a member of the staff of the European Commission in 2002. Her policy and managerial responsibility spans from the Enterprise Interoperability to Knowledge and Change Management areas. She helped launching the European Open Science Cloud in the ‘eInfrastructure and Open Science Cloud’ unit and is now the deputy of the ‘Smart Mobility and Living’ unit in DG CONNECT dealing with Smart Cities and Mobility policy, placing greater emphasis on environment and sustainability aspects.

Emmanuel Pajot, European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC)

With more than 17 years of experience combining sciences, technologies and economy to deliver space-based Earth Observation services, Emmanuel has experienced the challenges to develop and sale EO services. With a PhD in SAR imagery and a Master in Business, he was appointed as the EARSC Secretary-General in July 2020. After 13 years in the Energy market, he joined EARSC in 2017 as a Project manager. With his team, Emmanuel supports European companies developing the awareness on EO capabilities and the dialogue with stakeholders and communities of users.

Carl Pucci, Urban Innovation Expert

Carl grew up in Rochester, New York admiring the hometown tech company Kodak, grandson of NASA engineers. Heading to Estonia shortly after an education in physics and political science he joined the first IT company in the country to launch their American operations and has since gone on to other adventures. Carl is passionate about all things space, space food, spaceships, and particularly 1960s space clothing styles. He’s had a fantastic journey deploying the first Estonian e-Government and smart city systems in America, to taking on the accessibility of orbital radar (InSAR) as a way to predict flooding, infrastructure failure such as dams, bridges, and landslides. As a crazy dad, Carl’s impact is driven to make sure little ones everywhere see space as something achievable. Something that changes the world in every day moments; both Europe, and America, are the places that began.

Linda van Duivenbode, Groundstation DotSPACE

Linda is a founding member of dotSPACE foundation, an open innovation network focused on education, exploration & creation by means of remote sensing technologies. Linda has been involved in the space sector on and off since the mid 1990s, witnessing the start of the Copernicus and Galileo programmes. As policy advisor research and innovation, she coordinated the Dutch input in the Horizon 2020 negotiation and as self-employed consultant she works on smart city, mobility and energy projects. Helping to bring tech solutions to market and building bridges between the space and non-space sectors is one of her passions. From this perspective, she is very happy to support the Space for Cities workshop. She lives in the Netherlands, near the Netherlands Space Campus in Noordwijk.