Satellite maps show UK cities with most green space

Edinburgh is the UK's greenest high-population city, according to new images produced by mapping experts Esri UK.

Nearly half of Edinburgh is green space. Image: Esri UK
Nearly half of Edinburgh is green space. Image: Esri UK

The company used Landsat 8 satellite images and Esri’s own mapping software, to work out where the green space or vegetation was in the UK’s most 10 populated cities. 

Edinburgh has the highest percentage with 49%, followed by Glasgow (below) with 32% then Bristol with 29%. Liverpool and London were 10 and 5 respectively.

At 32% greenspace, Glasgow is number two on the list

The analysis was carried out by Esri UK using freely available Landsat 8 satellite imagery from Spring 2016 and analysed with the organisation’s image analysis tools, using the industry standard NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index), to calculate the percentage of green space in each city. 

Greenspace in Bristol

The NDVI is an index that uses the visible and near-infrared bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, to assess whether land mass contains live green vegetation or not. Often used to monitor drought, predict farming output or to help predict hazardous fire zones, the NDVI is preferred for global vegetation monitoring because it helps compensate for changing illumination conditions, surface slope, aspect and other unrelated factors.

Esri UK’s clients include the Ministry of Defence, Transport for London, Defra, RSA Group, Scottish Power, the Environment Agency and the Metropolitan Police.


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