• ACTIVITYFeasibility Study
  • STATUSOngoing
  • THEMATIC AREAInfrastructure & Smart Cities, Environment, Wildlife and Natural Resources

Objectives of the service

Conceptualisation of an urban landscape with green and blue spaces with potential impact indicators (e.g., impervious surface, land surface temperature, grassland mapping, greenness index, etc.) derived from space assets and other data sources. Proposed user-driven roadmap includes: 1) consolidating user needs and defining a business model 2) developing mock-ups of suggested services, 3) demonstrating and validating the system and associated services 4) coordinating implementation of the services in a potential demonstration project.

Both people and biodiversity benefit from healthy and abundant natural environments in and around our cities. These natural environments, also called blue (water) and green (vegetation) infrastructure, are essential for creating liveable, sustainable, and resilient urban areas.

The aim of GreenUP is to assess the market potential and feasibility of an Earth Observation (EO) supported service - assisting local authorities, city planners and other stakeholders involved in initiatives and activities to develop sustainable urban environments. We envision a cloud-based service providing easy access to a variety of EO-based maps, scenario models and metrics for planning, designing and monitoring urban green and blue spaces. 

Our motivation is to develop a sound business case for an EO-based service for two distinct phases of implementation and application:

  1. Provision of transparent, evidence-based information supporting decision-making processes to identify overall potential, planning and siting for nature-based solutions (NBS) during the initial urban planning stages.

  2. Provision of quantitative and continuous information to assess and quantify the impacts and effects of Nature Based Solution (NBS) induced implementation of green/blue infrastructure, as well as the effect of past policies related to NBS strategies.

Users and their needs

At the core of the project are the interests of the users. For that reason, user-driven development is a key component and extensive user involvement forms a central building block of GreenUP. An agile and iterative approach, user dialogue and involvement are needed to ensure that the building blocks of EO technology are put together in the right way and transformed into actionable tools and instruments which address the actual core needs of the users. Therefore, we value discussions with anyone working on urban development and activities related hereto, including, but not limited to local authorities, urban planners, architects, engineering consultancies as well as experts on Nature Based Solutions (NBS) activities, climate adaptation, green development, and urban ecology/sociology.

We mainly target Danish and Swedish user communities (e.g., municipalities of Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg as well as companies and organisations working in these countries) during the requirements consultations, but the service itself has a global scope, and by using the vast international network of DHI we included needs of stakeholders in other counties as well.
Key user needs as expressed by potential users include information related to:

  • Urban vegetation 

    • type of trees 

    • number of trees 

    • size of trees

    • height of vegetation/vegetation type, 

    • vegetation health 

  • Roof types

    • green roofs

    • roofs suited for solar panels  

  • Urban heat islands

    • High risk areas

    • Mitigation potential

    • Year-to-year anomalies

  • Stormwater management

  • Impact scenario modelling of NBS

Service/ system concept

Our vision is, based on user's requirements gathered during this feasibility study, to design and provide an easy-to-use online portal (Green Urban Planning Portal - GreenUP), with on-demand scenario modelling and mapping capabilities where users can define area of interests for which NBS impacts, green-blue metrics and statistics will be calculated. Information will be ingested from various data sources, including remotely sensed imagery such as orthophotos and supplemented with other environmental observations, all compiled into a city data cube.

Preliminary high level system design of the GreenUP on-demand service, with the main building blocks of an automated data sourcing module, a cloud environment for storage and execution, and access to the portal via GUI or API incorporating a secure authentication module. 

Space Added Value

Information will be generated from various Earth Observation and Remote Sensing data sources, historical archives and recent imagery, supplemented with other environmental observations, all compiled into a city data cube. However, input data will depend on the information needs for specific use cases based on the user requirements consolidations.

Copernicus services

Reflecting on the updated high level system architecture, existing Copernicus services (e.g., Land Monitoring and Climate Change Services) as well as other existing data sources of relevance (e.g. demographic data, biodiversity data, etc.), forms part of the collective data infrastructure of the proposed service. GreenUP will make best use of existing services available and enrich/complement these with additional EO data products and services to address information and data gaps where applicable. 

Complementing Copernicus services 

In most cases, complementary EO products will primarily be used and produced to address spatiotemporal limitations of existing datasets (e.g., 3-year temporal resolution of CLMS HR layers) to ensure a continuous and consistent dataset and maintenance of timely indicators.

Data flexible integration with Copernicus services 

The final selection of auxiliary data sources and services to be integrated in the service will be conducted through consultation with the user/client communities to ensure complementarity between their data and information needs and the service capabilities and data content.

Current Status

Surface temperature and greenness derived from Landsat-8 and Sentinel-2, respectively, for the city of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The GreenUp project team worked in close collaboration with DHI’s DHI UI/UX team to develop and implement a user interview guide and setup agile user analysis workflows. Roughly 20 user requirement meetings were conducted during the first 10 months of the project, including Copenhagen, Aarhus and Gothenburg municipalities and user needs and requirements have been consolidated.

Widespread outreach activities to relevant user communities have been conducted. The project was presented at a pitch event organised by the Danish National Network for climate adaptation (DNNK) and Water Valley Denmark (Oct. 31) at the Danish geodata conference ( (Nov. 17). Moreover, an abstract was accepted for presentation at GeoWeek in the US in February 2023.

Prime Contractor(s)

Status Date

Updated: 15 December 2022 - Created: 20 September 2022