Putting the Invisible on the Map: Low-Cost Earth Observation for Mapping and Characterizing Deprived Urban Areas (Slums)

Sabine Vanhuysse, Monika Kuffer, Stefanos Georganos, Jiong Wang, Angela Abascal, Taïs Grippa, Eléonore Wolff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

It is estimated that more than half of city dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa currently live in deprived urban areas, often called slums or informal settlements, although these terms cover different urban realities. While the first target of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 is “to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums,” there is a huge gap in timely spatial data to support evidence-based policies and monitor progress toward that objective. In this study, we document the potential of Earth Observation (EO) for mapping and characterizing deprived urban areas (DUAs) to narrow this gap. First, we provide a synthesis of user requirements that can be met without resorting to ancillary sources such as censuses and socioeconomic surveys, and we propose a list of cost criteria that should be minimized in EO workflows. Next, we present the city-scale and DUA-scale workflows that we developed based on three case studies and an assessment of their suitability for supporting pro-poor policies, in light of the cost criteria. We also share the main lessons learned and propose some avenues for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Inequalities from Space: Earth Observation Applications in the Majority World
EditorsMonika Kuffer, Stefanos Georganos
Pages119-137
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-49183-2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2024

Publication series

NameRemote Sensing and Digital Image Processing
Volume26

Keywords

  • 2024 OA procedure

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