GCW
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We source, process, and analyse GEOSPATIAL BIG DATA to unlock actionable insights about the quality of urban green space.

We drive better decisions by applying machine learning and
image processing algorithms on high resolution satellite imagery.

 
Green space in cities

Empowering local government to choose quality over quantity.

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Why?

 
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OBJECTIVELY MONITOR URBAN ECOSYSTEMS

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IMPROVE PERFORMANCE IN NEAR REAL-TIME

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EASILY UNCOVER IMPROVEMENTS WITH INSIGHTS

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SAVE MONEY
AND REDUCE
INEFFICIENCIES

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DRIVE EVIDENCE-BASED ACTION PLANS

 
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Urban green space is the backbone of a sustainable city and a widely cited indicator to assess urban environments.

 
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In the news

 
 
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Green City Watch wins the GBDX for Sustainability Challenge

In May 2018, the World Bank, USAID, World Economic Forum, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, awarded Green City Watch the first prize in DigitalGlobe’s prestigious sustainability challenge. The jury said, “GCW solves an important operational problem: namely, the lack of evidence-based, comparable intelligence about the state of urban green space”.

 
 

“WHy we do what we do” — Co-founder nadine Galle, speaks in ICLEI WORLD CONGRESS webinar

For the ICLEI World Congress, a series of webinars is kicking off the conversation on key urban sustainability topics. For the third, “Innovative approaches to nature-based solutions”, Nadine discussed Green City Watch’s latest developments. To the left is the recording of the webinar, my presentation starts at 14:54.

 

Charles fox (World Bank) on Green City Watch at OSM Conference

Charles Fox is both a programmer for the World Bank's Geospatial Operations Support Team, and the Special Assistant to Marianne Fay, Chief Economist for Sustainable Development. In this talk at the State of the Map US, Charles describes how Green City Watch helped map and assess Tbilisi’s urban parks, starting at 15:28.

 
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Green City WAtch SELECTED as one of the most inspiring startup solutions for the global energy transition

Green City Watch featured as one of 285 startup solutions for the global energy transition. The bid book, which highlights the startup solutions, and exploration of the energy-startup-ecosystem is a project by StartupDelta, in partnership with the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge.

 
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Co-founder Chris van Diemen, speaks in DIGITALGLOBE’s partner webinar

For DigitalGlobe’s monthly partner webinar, Chris presented Green City Watch’s approach and method to informing greener cities.

 
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Green city watch A Top-8 finalist in the university of Amsterdam Alumni Award

Green City Watch was founded by four University of Amsterdam (UvA) alumni. The AUV Alumni Award is a prize for UvA alumni who have made a unique contribution to society through a thought-provoking project. We’re honoured to be nominated (and make the top-8!) amongst these talented fellow alumni.

 
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Green city watch featured by Geospatial world

Geospatial World featured Nadine’s article, “Monitoring the quality of urban green space, from space,” in this month’s earth observation blog.

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Where?

 

For our beta release, we tested on four preliminary case studies. The chosen cities differ with respect to political, social, and environmental pressures. The four cities listed below are subject to such pressures across both hemispheres. Our aim is to validate that our methodology for assessing the quality of green space can be utilised and upscaled across varying landscapes.

The social, ecological, and economic scores above, are a score out of five. Want to know more about the KPIs, scoring mechanisms, and rationales behind our tool? Download our open source flat file here and indicator framework here.

 
 
Amsterdam
Houston

aMSTERDAM

The urban fabric of Amsterdam is highly regarded. The city is mostly under sea level and as such, built largely on wooden poles. Having dealt with flood risk since its conception, Amsterdam has become a global leader in sustainable water management. Despite being the capital of Europe's densest country, Amsterdam hosts less than a million residents. Often touted as one of Europe's greenest cities, Green City Watch will validate this claim using the urban green classification index and analysis tool.

Houston

Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States and the biggest without a formal zoning code. Experts believe the lack of regulation, building in the federally designated flood area, and paving over wetlands are partly to blame for the severity of last summer's Hurricane Harvey. Had Houston preserved more of its green space, perhaps there would have been less damage. Green City Watch is curious to assess the current quality of the city's green space, especially in light of the recent flooding events.

Rio de Janeiro
Tokyo

Rio de Janeiro

The Amazon rainforest, located mainly in Brazil, is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and famed for its biodiversity. And even though Rio de Janeiro is still 3000 km from Amazonia, one might assume the city hosts some of the world's most biodiverse urban green spaces. Unfortunately, most were demolished in Rio's rapid urban development. Today the city is home to six million people, with nearly 25% of its population living in favelas (Brazilian slums). Green City Watch hopes to reveal where urban green space restoration is most desperately needed in Rio.

Tokyo

When measured up against other large cities, Tokyo comes up short when it comes to green space. The amount of green space per capita in this city  is drastically lower than what is suggested by the World Health Organization. Japan, on the other hand, is famous for its national public health program called forest bathing—basically just being in the presence of trees—which has been proven to boast health and wellbeing. Now, Green City Watch wants to bring high quality urban green space back into Tokyo's dense core for the benefit of all its citizens.

 
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Who?

 

Green City Watch believes the sole assessment urban green space quantity is insufficient, so we’re using geospatial big data to also inform citymakers on the quality of these critical public spaces. Interested? Join us

 
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GCW is founded by four earth science nerds who believe big data is the key to greener cities.

 
 
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Chris van Diemen | Co-Founder
has a background in GIS at Geodan and is currently pursuing a data science traineeship at Xomnia. Chris is a data optimist who thinks data-driven solutions can steer the planet towards a future that is inclusive and fair to all.

 
 

Nadine Galle | Co-Founder
is pursuing her PhD in ecological engineering at University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin. Nadine believes cities need to be rapidly renatured and thinks the novel application of high resolution satellite imagery can get us there.

 
 

Jim Groot | Co-Founder
is a remote sensing lecturer at the University of Amsterdam. He has a broad interest in current and future applications of remote sensing data to tackle global challenges. Jim joined GCW because he loves satellites and big data.

 
 
 

Anjelika Romeo-Hall | Co-Founder
holds degrees in Natural Resources Management and Earth Sciences. As an advisor at Ernst & Young, she helps stakeholders realise innovative solutions for sustainable urban development. At GCW, Anjelika aligns our mission with the SDGs.

 
 

Emiel van Loon | Mentor
is an assistant professor at the University of Amsterdam. When he's not building agent-based models or developing new statistical techniques, he offers the GCW team key insights on how to apply statistics to ecology and back again. 

 
 

Stella Balikci | Support
holds a bachelors in Human Geography and Urban Planning from the University of Amsterdam. Currently, she is pursuing a research master in Urban Studies. Stella specialises in environmental planning and policy. 

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Green City Watch is an initiative by Observa Natura.

 
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