Urban remote sensing for sub-Saharan Africa

Organizers :

  • Eléonore Wolff, Geospatial Analysis (ANAGEO), Université Libre de Bruxelles, Av. FD Roosevelt 50 CP130/03, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
  • Catherine Linard, Department of Geography, Université de Namur, Rue de Bruxelles 61, 5000 Namur, Belgium

Abstract :

The quantity and quality of satellite-derived data has exploded these last decades thanks to improvements in data availability at increasingly finer spatial and temporal resolutions and improvements in tools and software to manage high volumes of data. However, the quantity and quality of spatial data available for sub-Saharan cities have not kept pace and often remain surprisingly poor. Several reasons can explain such a lack of data: a lower availability of images due to budget or technical allocation strategies, physical constraints (e.g. clouds covers), a lack of training data and a lower interest for low-income countries. Given the exceptionally high urban expansion rates observed in sub-Saharan Africa, it is however essential to develop spatial data and products that can monitor environment, health and socio-economic changes and help in designing strategies for a sustainable development of these urban areas. This session will present novel remote sensing methods to fill spatial, temporal and thematic data gaps for African urban environments. In addition, the presented researches will highlight specific methods required to deal with particularities of sub-Saharan African urban environments such as the similarity between man-made materials and the natural environment and the heterogeneity of the build-up structure.