Urban Sens

Empowering cities and people

for a better life in urban areas

Heat impacts people

Urban heat Islands pose a serious threat to public health, particularly for children, the elderly, people with respiratory illnesses and those who work outdoors.

Higher temperatures can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke or heat stress and even death. Older adults who are stressed by heat during the day need to cool down and recover at night. But high nighttime temperatures make it more difficult to do so, and increase the risk of heat stroke.

High temperatures also intensify air pollution in cities by creating smog, a dangerous pollutant that can make it difficult to breathe, which in turn triggers asthma attacks and spiking emergency room visits.

An urban heat island is a metropolitan area that’s a lot warmer than the rural areas surrounding it


Causes of Urban heat

  • Heat-absorbing buildings
    and paved surfaces
  • Lack of blue and green infrastructure
  • City Geometry
  • Air Pollutants

Health Effects of Urban Heat

  • Dehydration
  • Heat Stroke
  • Aggrovated Cardiovascular Illnesses
  • Aggrovated Respiratory Ilnesses

Our Vision

We, a group of master students from the university of Würzburg, started out with the idea of improving in-situ knowledge and monitoring environmental parameters in urban areas and combine it with spaceborne environmental observations. These data would be useful to understand some phenomena like urban heat islands and air pollution.

Our platform could be a digital innovation and a spark on the road to the smart city concept, but more than that, it could be the first step to generate local strategies for urban resilience, addressing equity concerns. That’s why we also include socioeconomic data to target the most exposed areas in the city.

We believe that Urbansens could impact the health and well-being of the citizens.

 Our Solution

How our Sensor Network works

UrbanSens develops static and mobile “low-cost” IOT (Internet Of Things) sensors for data acquisition on environmental parameters. The main aim is to build up sensor networks in urban areas  in order to retrieve reliable in-situ measurements and ensure the near-real-time data communication. In a next step this data is linked to Earth Observation Data to get a deeper insights in urban areas with street-level information of environmental parameters like temperature for decision-makers and citizens.

The link with Earth Observation

We want to model the trends of environmetal parameters in urban areas with high temporal and spatial resolution. To achieve this a fusion between multispectral and multitemporal remote sensing data sets, digital elevation and surface models, and sensor data is envisioned.

From Satellite Images and IoT to UrbanSens 

Our Experts

We are group of international students with experience in geography, environmental sciences and urban development, with a strong basis in Earth observation. We are convinced that the application of science and technology is key to address the future challenges in urban environments. That’s why we want to make the jump from Earth Observers to Earth Changers.


Department of Remote Sensing
University of Würzburg

Winner of the Copernicus Masters - DLR Challenge

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