Center for Environmental Science Applications (CESA)

Finding solutions to sustainability challenges by linking ideas, people and resources


CESA works with NASA and other space agencies to develop ways to use remote sensing to monitor urban growth and function. Our ultimate aim is to help design, launch and operate a set of satellites with instrument packages optimized for observing cities so that real-time conditions can be used to advance urban sustainability goals.
Urban 4D is a proposed aircraft-based remote sensing program for four U.S. cities that seeks to make models originally developed for one urban site applicable to others.
100 Cities is a NASA-funded program that uses satellite-based remote sensing data from 100 of the world’s largest cities to support comparative analyses and create new city management tools.

CESA is part of an ASU-UK Urban Consortium including University College London, Newcastle University, and Cambridge University, which plans to better integrate remote sensing into urban models. Members of fhe Consortium met in Newcastle on January 27-28, 2010 and held a small workshop at UCL in London on January 29. A larger workshop on urban sustainability, remote sensing, and decision making was held at University College London, May 20-23, 2010. Presentations and results from the workshop are available elsewhere on the CESA website.

Key members of the consortium from the UK include Jim Hall, Rich Dawson, and Stuart Barr at Newcastle University; Mike Batty and Julian Hunt at UCL; Grant Kopec at Cambridge; Paul Monks and Roland Leigh at University of Leicester; Rajat Gupta at Oxford Brookes University; and Cathy Pickering at IBM. This effort is coordinated with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research's Cities program, headed by Jim Hall.