Tackling Urban Challenges Using Environmental Data



Richard Lamb, a Knowledge Exchange Fellow at the Institute for Environmental Analytics, explains how the Satellite Applications Catapult, Imperial College London and Greater London Authority are working together to address radical environmental plans for London.

London is a leading global city, and has a history stretching back over 2,000 years. Whilst many people associate London as being one of the world’s great tourist destinations – featuring attractions including the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge – the Greater London area is home to over 8.5 million people, covering an area of over 600 square miles.

With such a huge population comes many environmental challenges – something the Mayor of London is looking to tackle, by turning London into the world’s greenest global city. This means making it greener, cleaner and ready for the future. The Greater London Authority (GLA) is currently running a consultation on the Mayor’s Environment Strategy, which details a range of actions that aim to improve the environment now and will set London on the path to a cleaner, greener future.

Since the spring of 2017, the GLA Environment Team has been working closely with the Satellite Applications Catapult, taking a strong interest in the Keyne Eye urban planning service and the Catapult’s work with the extractive industries in Chile. They were also introduced to Earth Sense led by Professor Roland Leigh based at the University of Leicester.

As an extension of this engagement, the Catapult, Imperial College London and GLA are jointly organising a workshop on 26 October in London, featuring experts from a wide range of environmental backgrounds.

The event will explore new ways of collaboration focused on air quality, extreme weather resilience, and flooding. We hope this will strengthen our relationship with the GLA and help forge new partnerships with academics and businesses to help tackle the many environmental challenges London is facing.

This all draws on the expertise within the Catapult and from across our partners. Ultimately, if we can provide a sector-led response to the Environment Strategy, we can help tackle the issues facing London, as well as other cities in the UK and around the globe.

For anyone unable to attend the workshop, but looking to provide feedback on the Environment Strategy individually or on behalf of an organisation, you can respond online.

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