The strategic goal of the SMURBS’ Liaison is to deliver the strategic elements and create key opportunities, to be exploited during SMURBS, for achieving a decisive impact of the project on the urban domain. This is constantly pursued by proactively liaising with high-level stakeholders from the EC like ESA. Quite a few of SMURBS partners are part or have, weathered, mutually beneficial relationships with ESA (e.g. ROSA, Hellenic ESA Mirror Site). This relationship constitutes a fertile ground upon which liaison activities will be carried out with SMURBS. One of the key objectives in this approach is to obtain as much knowledge as possible from the ESA-supported initiatives that have been launched or are currently running in the same geographical area of SMURBS.
The UTEP (Urban Thematic Exploitation Platform, latest publication here) is such an initiative and is of particular importance to SMURBS as there exists great overlap of goals and means. Liaison activities have already started in this direction covering aspects such as avoidance of duplication of effort, maximizing on existing investments, interoperability of infrastructure etc. A first concrete result from this interaction came in the form of a meeting between the two parties. i.e. SMURBS and UTEP, to explore cooperation opportunities.
The meeting took place at DLR, Wessling, Germany on 16 January 2019. Key aspects of the projects were presented to promote cross-fertilization. The possibility of using some of SMURBS solutions-to-city implementations as UTEP case studies (local or global) was identified, entailing the utilization, on behalf of SMURBS’ partners (SRI, ISPRA, NOA), of UTEP’s processing and visualization capacities, i.e. SMURBS entering the UTEP’s community of users and creating with UTEP’s support its own ‘Scopes’. Knowledge exchange also took place, as SMURBS was interested in the GUF (Global Urban Footprint) product with respect to its validation, while UTEP was interested in integrating some of SMURBS urban metrics into its own methodologies. These activities are ongoing.