City Explorer Toolkit

The City Explorer Toolkit is an interactive web-based tool, which helps planners to understand where best to create urban green spaces such as parks and blue spaces such as ponds, to ensure that benefits such as cooling on a hot day, improved air quality, and noise reduction are received by the people who need them most. 

Planning sustainable cities

Watch our video, which explains how our City Explorer Toolkit allows city officials to compare different planning options and work out the best locations for beneficial green and blue spaces.

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The toolkit uses models and spatial data to calculate the benefits of different green infrastructure and nature-based solutions to tackle challenges in cities such as heatwaves, air pollution and flood risk.

It also uses population and social data (e.g. age-groups, deprivation indicators) to work out which groups of people will benefit most from a particular option. For example, the elderly and infants are most likely to benefit from measures to improve air quality. 

Users can use the toolkit to:

  • Explore population, social and pressure (e.g. hot-day temperature) datasets to see where the need is greatest.
  • Run models that calculate where, and to what degree, current green and blue space is already providing benefits.
  • View maps of ‘potential’, which help users plan the best locations for new green and blue space. 
  • Visualize and download summary information, which allows them to compare different options and reveals any social inequalities associated with these. 

The toolkit builds on UKCEH’s many years’ experience of combining models, satellite and other data to help people make better decisions for the environment and people. 

Work to develop the City Explorer Toolkit has been funded by the European Space Agency, Future Earth, NERC and EU Horizon projects, and the UKCEH Commercial Innovation Fund. 

Using the City Explorer Toolkit

Watch this video to see how users can generate demand maps, supply maps, opportunity maps and summary information, supporting decision-making.