Globally, more people now live in urban than in rural areas. Urban populations are also expected to continue to grow, so that by 2050 approximately two thirds of the world's population will be urban. With increasing and sometimes rapid urbanization, cities frequently face challenges with housing, water, sanitation, electricity, crime, pollution and transportation.
Space-based technologies provide unique tools for planning socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements. Central government policymakers, mayors, city planners, engineers and landscape architects are among those who use remote sensing tools that measure and monitor existing patterns of land use and infrastructure development. Not only does this data inform decision makers about current urban projects, complex models can also be constructed to predict future trends in human settlements and urbanization.
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