Artificial Intelligence, Digitalisation, New Data

Revealing urban transformations with AI and satellite imagery

4 minute read Recent years have brought with them an extraordinary shift in the urban landscape. As people seek new opportunities and a better quality of life, the population living in cities has more than doubled over the past 40 years, from 1.5 billion in 1975 to 3.5 billion in 2015. To accommodate population growth, cities tend to either expand or densify, which can have both economic and environmental impacts by increasing mobility demand, CO2 emissions, energy consumption, and cost of services.

Understanding how a city expands and comparing this with population trends is essential for sustainable urbanisation. Therefore, a timely monitoring of land management is crucial. In a recent OECD study, we leveraged an innovative approach based on publicly available satellite imagery and deep learning to monitor land use in OECD metropolitan areas in near-real time.

read more