SPOTTED – Policy Brief

Oct 11, 2023News

SPOTTED – Policy Brief

Oct 11, 2023News

Authors: Anna Pizzamiglio, Research Associate and Project Manager, the Lisbon Council;Francesco Mureddu, Senior Director, the Lisbon Council;Antonio Filograna, Senior Researcher, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A.


This Blogpost discusses the SPOTTED project, which uses satellite data, AI, and cloud tech to improve green area management in Milan, Helsinki, and Naples, funded by the European Commission. The project showcases how technology can transform smart city management through customized pilot programs focused on soft mobility, tourism sustainability, and urban regeneration in these cities.


The SPOTTED project addresses the growing importance of geospatial data in smart city management by harnessing open geospatial data and satellite technologies to create innovative solutions. This initiative aims to integrate and process diverse open data sources, including Earth Observation data, to offer tailored digital services to cities, with the results being made available as open datasets. The project’s significance lies in its potential to assist policymakers in managing urban spaces effectively, particularly in Milan, where it focuses on data-driven green and just transition, Naples, where it monitors urban regeneration strategies, and Helsinki, where it monitors sustainability in tourism and urban planning, thereby contributing to more sustainable and resilient cities across Europe.

Aim: This policy brief highlights the SPOTTED project’s pilots in Milan, Naples, and Helsinki, focusing on the use of satellite open data for green area management and offering practical policy recommendations. It covers the significance and challenges of satellite data in green area management, details the objectives of each pilot, and concludes with guidance for future sustainable urban planning based on insights from these projects.

Leveraging Satellite Open Data for Green Area Management

The second section focuses on the importance of leveraging satellite open data for green area management. It highlights the significance of satellite observations in various domains and their role in understanding Earth’s complex systems. It discusses the evolution of open data flows and the launch of the Copernicus satellites as pivotal moments. The European Union’s trailblazing use of satellite technology and its impact on green transition and urban planning are also mentioned. The section explains the benefits of using satellite imaging technology to monitor and manage green spaces, including land planning, ecosystem health monitoring, and climate change mitigation. 

Additionally, it introduces the SPOTTED Platform, emphasizing its role in integrating and processing extensive satellite open data resources to make cities smarter and more informed in decision-making. The platform’s architecture, services, and potential positive impacts on urban regeneration and digital transformation in public administration are outlined. Overall, this section highlights the transformative potential of satellite open data in urban planning and sustainability.

Transformative Pilots in Milan, Naples and Helsinki

In the Transformative Pilots section, the Milan pilot aims to analyze the socio-economic impact of natural capital with the help of the SPOTTED technological platform, aligning with the “Milano 2030” green city plan. The Napoli pilot in Naples focuses on using satellite images to monitor urban regeneration strategies and green capital, aligning with the city’s urban masterplan. The Helsinki pilot aims to monitor the sustainability of nature tourism and urban green spaces through advanced satellite imagery analysis, supporting data-driven urban planning and climate resilience efforts. These pilots demonstrate the potential of satellite data for informed policy-making and urban development, emphasizing the importance of integrating diverse data sources for effective decision-making and environmental preservation.

Policy Recommendations for Future Green Area Management

The SPOTTED project presents a forward-looking approach to urban management, utilizing technology and data integration to create more intelligent, sustainable, and resilient cities. The transformative pilots in Naples, Helsinki, and Milan serve as powerful examples of how satellite technology, AI-driven data analysis, and innovative green area management approaches can benefit urban environments. As we confront the challenges of rapid urbanization and environmental concerns, the lessons learned from these pilots offer valuable insights for future green area management policies.

The policy recommendations include fostering co-creation among stakeholders to harmonize differing perspectives, emphasizing the unique advantages of satellite data in large-scale monitoring and decision-making, integrating satellite data with other Earth observation methods and high-value datasets for a holistic understanding, leveraging satellite data’s time series and extensive spatial coverage capabilities, and addressing challenges related to accessibility and utilization of satellite data. By embracing these strategies, cities can harness satellite data to create greener, more resilient, and sustainable urban environments.


Download the document 👉🏻 SPOTTED Pilots- Leveraging Satellite Open Data for Sustainable Urban Development