City Explorer Toolkit predicts the benefits of different green and blue spaces, such as parks and ponds, in urban settings. It allows planners to to develop sustainable cities by quantifying the benefits of green and blue infrastructure (such as cooling on a hot day, improved air quality, and noise reduction) anywhere in a city to ensure they are received by the people who need them most.
City Explorer Toolkit is an interactive, GIS-based decision-support tool. It dynamically calculates a range of benefits for city residents provided by existing or planned green infrastructures. It incorporates modules that can currently calculate: air pollution removal; hot-day cooling; and surface flood risk; with more modules are in development.
The City Explorer Toolkit was developed in 2021, and a demonstration version was presented at COP26 in Glasgow. Online beta versions are currently being developed for specific cities, starting with: Paris (available online in 2022); Aarhus (Denmark); and Birmingham (UK).
City Explorer Toolkit is the only urban model globally available online that calculates ecosystem service benefits in a manner that is context-specific (i.e. not based on a look-up table) and allows users to dynamically create new scenarios and calculate benefits 'live'.
City Explorer Toolkit was developed by UKCEH. Local city authorities contribute to the data and development of each city-specific version.
City Explorer Toolkit will be open access: city-specific versions will be available to use as they are developed (from 2022 onwards) at no cost, via the weblink. UKCEH can offer a service to develop bespoke city versions.
Development of the City Explorer Toolkit was funded by: ESA-FutureEarth (joint programme); UKRI-NERC (STRF urban nature based solutions project); EU ReGREEN project.
City Explorer Toolkit is used by city authorities, planners and public, plus UKCEH and other researchers: EU H2020 ReGREEN project; JPI-Urban Europe/ESRC DeSCIPHER project; Institut Paris Region.