Smart urban solutions for resilient cities

SMURBS, a European Union program steered by Greece, has developed 32 applications to date in the fields of air quality, regional resilience, and urban growth. All these solutions will be available by 2021.

This European project, christened SMURBS (SMart URban Solutions for air quality, disasters and city growth), initiated in 2017 as part of the European Union’s research and innovation program Horizon 2020, has set itself the threefold aim of:
- improving urban resilience in the face of climate risks,
- monitoring air quality,
- controlling urban sprawl.
All through an integrated and holistic approach, one of the major problems associated with taking effective measures being the fragmented nature of the information available (satellite data, networks and sensors in situ, unmanned aircraft, models or citizen observatories).
SMURBS offers a portfolio of apps: 16 for air quality, 8 on urban sprawl, and 8 others on cities’ capacity for resilience in the face of climate disasters. Half of them are on the verge of becoming operational. The others will be up and running by the end of the program in August 2021.
To develop these solutions, SMURBS integrates an unprecedented set of data collected by different satellite observation platforms*. The scope of the study covers a network of some twenty pilot cities in Europe, along with two cities in China and one in Bolivia**. From this data on the ground, which is constantly being updated, digital tools and services will shortly be made available to urban planners and ordinary citizens alike.
The leader of the SMURBS consortium is the Institute for Environmental Research and Sustainable Development at the National Observatory of Athens (NOA). SMURBS today brings together 19 ERA-Planet partners — research centers, space agencies, universities and experts in EO (Earth observation) — across 12 European Union countries.

*EOS platform (Earth Observing System), Copernicus Open Access Hub.
**Find out more: “Our pilot cities.” Source: SMURBS.

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