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GEO 2017-2019 Work Programme


Integrated City-Region Systems Modelling:

Activity ID: 148


This community activity supports the development and demonstration of the world’s first open-source, integrated human-ecology-economics systems platform that enables resilient disaster risk sensitive planning, policy-making, investment and procurement for city-regions globally. is designed as a computer-based platform that provides an integrated systems view of a city-region. It will be an analysis and decision-support tool for collaboration and resilience decision-making.

The platform combines computer representations of resource flows, human and business activities and infrastructure systems. The platform contains a growing library of process models of typical human, industrial and ecological systems, the relevant ones of which are used in a local instance to create a tailored integrated systems model for a city-region.

The platform is designed to connect to many data sources, including from earth observation satellites, government and private sector data, local sensor networks, smart phones, tablets and local survey data. This data is processed by the systems model and visualized to give an improved understanding of the human, economic and ecological systems within a region including how these are interlinked.

Installing a local version of the model allows communities to manage both their economy and its critical supporting ecosystems on the basis of integrated systems insights. It allows city-regions globally to assess their current development path, taking account of the risks of climate change, resource scarcity and events and map out a more sustainable and resilient pathway. It is a tool for testing possible scenarios and driving towards a holistic set of social, environment and economic goals.

Activities for the period

It is expected that this effort will lead to the development of:

  • The development and release of an open source library of models to support city-region resource, ecology and population integrated systems modelling.
  • A community of practice for developing algorithms for the above, and sourcing and integrating diverse data-sets from EO and other sources.
  • Data specifications to support above and enable city-regions to monitor and report against global frameworks such as SDGs, Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the New Urban Agenda.
  • A series of global city-region demonstrators of in use and supporting collaborative planning, policy and investment decision making and evidencing new investment into resilient and climate-compatible solutions. These demonstrators to build an evidence base of the value gained from harnessing EO and other data together with sophisticated modelling capability to drive positive change
    • (Currently demonstrators in Ghana, China and the UK and the group is exploring new opportunities)

User engagement

This activity is already engaged with city-region actors from local and national governments, the private and academic sectors and citizen groups. These collaborative groups identify local priorities and use to frame ‘questions’ to ask of The groups also identify data sources, co-develop the models and help to increase levels of confidence in the model assumptions.

Future plans

Beyond the Work Programme period this group anticipates releasing and scaling the platform and data brokerage system to city-regions globally. This includes a shift to local and regional capacity building and scaling activities and the establishment of an open-source expert community to maintain and further develop integrated systems modelling capability and ensuring it includes the latest research across sectors.


The Community Activity operates through in-kind contributions of financial and other resources to conduct the activities.


  • Stephen Passmore (Ecological Sequestration Trust / UK),


Members: China, Ghana, Switzerland, UK.
Participating Organisations: ESA, FutureEarth.

Linkages across the Work Programme

Initiatives: EO4SDGs; GEO Human Planet Initiative: Spatial Modeling of Impact, Exposure and Access to Resources.

Community Activities: Citizen Observatories and Crowdsourcing; Earth Observations for Disaster Risk Management; Earth Observations for Health (EO4HEALTH); Earth Observations for the Water-Energy-Food (W-E-F) Nexus.

Leadership & Contributors (this list is being populated)




Implementing Entity


Lead (PoC)

Stephen Passmore