The amount of urban data available is growing exponentially. But despite an inundation of dashboards, urban sustainability indicators and frameworks there is little tangible impact on the ground and little meaningful, actionable information for city decision-makers and stakeholders. WRI is uniquely positioned to make the insights generated from new technologies and practices (e.g. remote sensing, urban sensors, cloud computing, machine learning and data standards) relevant to cities. WRI has expertise in geospatial data and tools to inform action (notably Global Forest Watch, Aqueduct, and Resource Watch), an extensive network of city and technical partners, and institutional expertise in on-the-ground, results-oriented work.

WRI’s new Data-Driven Cities initiative aims to 1) provide cities with globally-comparable key performance indicators through Resource Watch; 2) establish a suite of tools with spatially fine, globally comparable, and near-real time data to allow urban stakeholders to monitor change and identify opportunities for improvement; and 3) use data to directly assist cities and inform decision-making to address local urban challenges.

This session with introduce Data-Driven Cities and two cities-related data products being developed by WRI and partners:

  • Global Air Quality Watch: A high-resolution air quality monitoring system at the global scale that provides criteria pollutant readings in near real-time in cities and beyond – to empower the public, promote transparency, reassure accountability and mobilize action.

  • Global Urban Land Use Watch: A globally comparable, near-real time and locally relevant, high-resolution global map of urban land uses and their change over time, developed and updated with remote sensing and machine learning.

Speakers: Eric Mackres, Seth Contreras, Steven Brumby.