EU Science Hub

New Remote Sensing of the Global Human Settlement

Apr 15 2015

The JRC is organising the side event "New Remote Sensing of the Global Human Settlement" within the second session of the Preparatory Committee of Habitat III conference.

The event will disseminate the results of the new Global Human Settlement Working Group (GHS WG) of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) regarding the fine scale global mapping of human settlements with open satellite data.

The GHS WG is committed to support the following processes:

  • The UN Third Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III, 2016)
  • The concurrent post-2015 processes on sustainable development
  • The UN Framework Convention on Climate change
  • The Hyogo framework for disaster risk reduction


  • Martino Pesaresi, European Commission, Joint Research Centre
  • Amie Figueiredo, United Nations Economic Commission of Europe (UNECE)
  • Gora Mboup, Global Observatory linking Research to Action (GORA) Corp


Outcome of the event

The presentations (available on the right hand menu) focused on the remote sensing science and technology and its application in monitoring urban growth, particularly using the Global Human Settlements Layer data tool. Presenters also highlighted the specific applications in which the GHSL data has been used as tool and basis for urban planning.
There was unanimous agreement between the presenters and audience that even though various aspects of GHSL are still not fully developed, the tool is very relevant and critical in understanding the growth of human settlements all over the world, and that the very low costs associated with such a wealth of information is incomparable.