Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) for Urban Green Space Mapping in Urbanizing Indian Cities

  • Shruti LahotiEmail author
  • Ashish Lahoti
  • Osamu Saito


Geospatial data of urban green spaces (UGS) is mostly unavailable for emerging Indian cities, which effects their provisioning, maintenance and monitoring. In absence of spatial data, the strategic vision and comprehensive urban planning to enhance urban environment of cities witnessing transition are compromised. Owing to the direct link between urban environment and wellbeing of urban dweller, it is utmost important to address this gap and support planning process by providing the required data set of desired spatial and temporal scale. Though satellite imagery and remotely sensed data are widely used in environmental studies, for urban greens the spatial resolution of images is inapt. In addition, high cost acts as a barrier towards its wide scale application. Thus, the study reviews current state of literature on application of UAVs for spatial data generation to allow integrated analysis to support urban planning process. A case example of Nagpur city is presented to highlight specific direct applications. The review finds UAVs as cost effective and efficient tool for images with relevant resolution for planners and decision makers. While regulation hinder its wide applicability, the cost component, flexibility, timely monitoring and accessibility weighs UAVs as suitable tool for data collection in urban areas. As use of UAVs in urban areas is still limited, the study recommends more experimentations and trials to arrive at set methodology which could help in mapping of UGS and other qualitative data gathering to support urban planning and urban greening.


Urban green space Urbanization Unmanned aerial vehicle Thematic mapping Urban planning 


Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of SustainabilityShibuya-ku, TokyoJapan
  2. 2.Independent ResearcherTokyoJapan

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