Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.3390/cli10120186
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Mapping open data and big data to address climate resilience of urban informal settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa
Author Banzhaf, E.; Bulley, H.N.; Inkoom, J.N.; Elze, S.
Journal Climate
Year 2022
Department SUSOZ
Volume 10
Issue 12
Page From art. 186
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords EO data; big data; land cover; urban land use; environmental pressures; demographic information; temporal scale; spatial scale; informal settlements; climate resilience; Sub-Saharan Africa

This perspective paper highlights the potentials, limitations, and combinations of openly available Earth observation (EO) data and big data in the context of environmental research in urban areas. The aim is to build the resilience of informal settlements to climate change impacts. In particular, it highlights the types, categories, spatial and temporal scales of publicly available big data. The benefits of publicly available big data become clear when looking at issues such as the development and quality of life in informal settlements within and around major African cities. Sub-Saharan African (SSA) cities are among the fastest growing urban areas in the world. However, they lack spatial information to guide urban planning towards climate-adapted cities and fair living conditions for disadvantaged residents who mostly reside in informal settlements. Therefore, this study collected key information on freely available data such as data on land cover, land use, and environmental hazards and pressures, demographic and socio-economic indicators for urban areas. They serve as a vital resource for success of many other related local studies, such as the transdisciplinary research project “DREAMS—Developing REsilient African cities and their urban environMent facing the provision of essential urban SDGs”. In the era of exponential growth of big data analytics, especially geospatial data, their utility in SSA is hampered by the disparate nature of these datasets due to the lack of a comprehensive overview of where and how to access them. This paper aims to provide transparency in this regard as well as a resource to access such datasets. Although the limitations of such big data are also discussed, their usefulness in assessing environmental hazards and human exposure, especially to climate change impacts, are emphasised.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Banzhaf, E., Bulley, H.N., Inkoom, J.N., Elze, S. (2022):
Mapping open data and big data to address climate resilience of urban informal settlements in Sub-Saharan Africa
Climate 10 (12), art. 186