Urban ecosystem analysis supported by remote sensing (UrbanEARS)

Frank Canters, Boud Verbeiren, Willy Bauwens

Research Cartography and GIS (CGIS)

STEREO III Programme (Research Programme for Earth Observation), Belgian Science Policy | 2014–2018

As early as 1984, Belgium understood the importance of remote sensing applications. Besides its commitment in the French SPOT programme and its participation in the ESA activities (European Space Agency), EUMETSAT (European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites) en ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts), Belgium has launched a national Earth Observation research programme, initially called Telsat. Today, under the name STEREO III, the programme still fits within the framework of the overall Belgian research strategy for remote sensing which aims at:

  • Generalising the use of satellite data as information source
  • Contributing simultaneously to infrastructure, data support and data use
  • Introducing remote sensing in operational services
  • Consolidating Belgium’s EO expertise and facilitating its insertion into networks of international standing.

The financed projects fall under the priority themes inspired by the objectives of “Copernicus”, the European Commission’s Earth Observation Programme, previously known as GMES (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security):

  • global monitoring of vegetation and evolution of terrestrial ecosystems;
  • management of the environment at regional and local levels: water, land, forests, nature reserves and biodiversity, agriculture, coastal zones, urban and peri-urban areas;
  • interactions between (changes in) land cover and climate change;
  • epidemiology and humanitarian aid;
  • Security and risk management

In collaboration with:

  • B. Somers, M. Hermy, Department Earth and Environmental Sciences, KU Leuven, Leuven
  • F. Van Coillie, R. De Wulf, Laboratory of Forest Management and Spatial Information Techniques, Universiteit Gent, Ghent
  • B. Verbeiren, W. Bauwens, Department of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • S. van der Linden, Department of Geography, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany
  • D. Roberts, J. McFadden, Department of Geography, University of California Santa Barbara, USA