Big Urban Data and Remote Sensing Applications: Urban Science Lab @ Sydney Special Seminar

The Urban Science Lab @ Sydney presents two special lectures on Big Urban Data and Remote Sensing Applications from Dr Arnab Jana and Dr Eswar Rajasekaran, visiting researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay. 

These talks are hosted as part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDG) grant awarded by the DVCR, University of Sydney on the USYD- IIT-Bombay strategic partnership on: Big data for sustainable cities: Developing a real-time urban expansion tracker for India using satellite imagery, machine learning and geographic data science.

Date: 25th May 2023

Time: 12 pm to 3 pm

Venue: Tin Sheds Gallery, School of Architecture, Design, and Planning, The University of Sydney. 

Sign up here


12:00 pm  Lunch in the courtyard  

12:30 pm Heterogeneity and Complexities in India & Access to Services — Dr Arnab Jana (presentation 40 mins and 20 mins Q&A) 

1:30 pm Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing: Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Applications — Dr Eswar Rajasekaran (presentation 40 mins and 20 mins Q&A)

2:30 pm Reception with refreshments


Heterogeneity and Complexities in India & access to Services

Dr Arnab Jana

In this talk, the complexity of urban areas in the context of India is discussed. Dr Arnab Jana will discuss the diverse socio-economic coexistence, socio-political drivers, access to employment, and availability of the right job for the right person. In Mumbai, around 50% of the population resides in slums and squatter settlements. There has been much deliberation in improving the quality of life of these residents. The importance of the built environment, access to clean air, and daylight, together with the association between Indoor Natural Ventilation and the well-being of the residents, are discussed. Essential services such as access to water and electricity are further discussed to elaborate on the importance of the slum redevelopment schemes together with the gaps. These factors combine and affect the residents’ health status and overall well-being. The talk will conclude with the opportunity for better planning and development for better residents’ living through analytics and schemas to strive towards evidence-based approaches.

Thermal Infrared Remote Sensing: Challenges and Opportunities for Urban Applications

Dr Eswar Rajasekaran

Thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing provides us with the opportunity to understand the thermal characteristics of the land surface especially the transfer of energy fluxes. This technology can potentially help planners to design cities and neighbourhoods minimizing the impacts of heat stress and thermal discomfort on the occupants. However, the usage of this technology to real life urban applications is rather limited. This talk aims to introduce this technology to the audience and to deconstruct its aspects towards effective utilisation of these TIR datasets.

Speaker Bio 

Dr Arnab Jana is faculty at the Centre for Urban Science and Engineering, IIT Bombay, since 2013. He works in the field of urban infrastructure policy and planning, focusing on the application of ICT and analytics to address sustainability and environmental issues. He was visiting faculty at Hiroshima University, Japan, in 2016. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He was awarded the prestigious Monbukagakusho Scholarship by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), Government of Japan. He is also an alumnus of the Asian Program of incubation of Environmental Leadership (APIEL), University of Tokyo. He has a Masters in City Planning from IIT Kharagpur and a Bachelors of Architecture from IIEST Shibpore. He has guided several doctoral and postgraduate students and has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles in journals, conferences, and books. Dr. Jana is the principal investigator in several projects pertaining to urban planning and engineering, building sciences, and public health policy. The projects are primarily funded by MHRD, DST, British Academy, UNICEF, State Governments such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and so on. He is affiliated to several professional and academic bodies such as COA and ITPI.

Dr Eswar Rajasekaran
 is currently leading the thermal and optical remote sensing applications research group at the department of Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay. His primary research interests are retrieval of land surface variables from thermal and optical remote sensing and applications of remotely sensed variables in urban, hydrological and agricultural studies. Eswar has obtained PhD degree from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and bachelor’s degree in geoinformatics from Anna University, Chennai. He was awarded the Prof. KK Nageswara Rao Young Achievers award by the Indian Society of Geomatics for contributions in the area of thermal remote sensing and the University Gold Medal by Anna University Chennai for academic excellence.