Disruptive Tech for Africa: tracking the latest urbanization trends with local validation
Organizer: University of Twente, DLR, MindEarth, Ardhi University / Resilience Academy
|African cities are challenged by rapid uncontrolled urbanization. Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the world’s fastest urbanizing regions. Urban areas were home 472 million people in 2017, and are expected to double over the next 25 years. Previously, drought and food security have been the main challenges facing a predominantly rural population in Africa. Rapid urbanisation and climate change is shifting the risk profile and towards urban challenges including flooding, landslides, and earthquakes. We can reduce risk to people in cities through the timely collection of actionable risk data including: how fast, where, and how cities are growing. The German Aerospace Center (DLR), funded by the World Bank, is launching a new suite of datasets in the World Settlement Footprint (WSF) suite which use Earth Observation satellites to track urbanization patterns up to 2019, types of urban expansion, impervious surfaces, and population growth. The heightened impact of global public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic underscore the need to build local skills to create the required digital information while providing learning and livelihood opportunities.At the same time, the production of these global WSF layers requires extensive validation. Successful pilots are showing how digital microtasking can engage African youth to validate global urbanization datasets – thus simultaneously ensuring the quality of the global urbanization datasets, creating employment opportunities for African youth, and providing learning opportunities on valuable digital skills. This session will give a sneak-peak of new, free datasets from the World Settlement Footprint suite, which track urbanization patterns with unprecedented detail and timeliness. We will challenge you with questions on the current state of the world, and show datasets which can help answer these questions. We will also show how you can benefit from street-view imagery and the synergies of digital microtasking – collecting local, high-quality validation data while creating employment opportunities and supporting digital skill development.
Dr. Caroline Gevaert, Assistant Professor
Dr. Thomas Esch, Head of the Smart Cities and Spatial Development Team
Dr. Mattia Marconcini, Engineer and Project Manager in the Smart Cities and Spatial Development team
Dr. Davide Cucci, Researcher
Dr. Zakaria Ngereja, University Lecturer