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With almost 80, 000 inhabitants, Az-Zaatari is almost the size of a small town - but is a refugee camp. The residents are among the 4.9 million Syrians who had to leave their country. The camp in Jordan was created in 2012 as a result of the Syrian civil war. (Photo: eoVision 2016 / Original: CNES 2016, Airbus DS distribution)

Mit knapp 80.000 Bewohnern besitzt Az-Zaatari fast die Ausmaße einer Kleinstadt – ist aber ein Flüchtlingslager. Die Bewohner gehören zu den 4, 9 Millionen Syrern, die ihr Land verlassen mussten. Das Lager in Jordanien entstand 2012 in Folge des syrischen Bürgerkriegs. (Foto: eoVision 2016 / Original: CNES 2016, Distribution Airbus DS)

With almost 80, 000 inhabitants, Az-Zaatari is almost the size of a small town - but is a refugee camp. The residents are among the 4.9 million Syrians who had to leave their country. The camp in Jordan was created in 2012 as a result of the Syrian civil war. (Photo: eoVision 2016 / Original: CNES 2016, Airbus DS distribution)

Unlike the saying, "The world is a village, " the world is - and is becoming - more and more a city. For the first time in 2008, just as many people lived in a city as in the countryside. Ascending trend.

According to the United Nations, by 2050, two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities. A trend that does not come from industrialized countries such as Germany, but mainly in developing and emerging countries such as China, India and many African cities such as Kinshasa or Lagos. More opportunities, more work, higher wages - cities promise a better life or simply give them the opportunity to survive. For example, Zaatari offers such an opportunity in Jordan: not a city in the narrow sense, but one of the largest refugee camps in the world.

The fact that megacities like Tokyo, Delhi or Mexico City - these are the three most populous - are struggling with problems in view of the crowds, is not surprising. Sufficient living space, a comprehensive energy and water supply, a functioning waste disposal, sufficient jobs, schools and universities, a basic medical care - with more than ten million inhabitants, some cities come to their logistical limits. That's also why slums are created. However, urbanization has effects beyond city limits. Exemplary for the ailing water supply of Las Vegas or the shrunken Aralsee.

Varied structures

But cities not only harbor poverty and misery, they also stand for cosmopolitanism, culture and trade. And: every city has its own structure. This is particularly evident in cities on the border between Mexico and the United States, which are built differently depending on the country. Especially from the air, cities reveal their very own aesthetics. The authors of the illustrated book "Cities - Focal Points of Humanity" have explored the diverse city plans and architectures worldwide.

The illustrated book shows the variety of colors and structures, the purpose and the destruction of buildings as well as the development of metropolises worldwide. For this purpose, the authors used the data from the Earth observation satellites Pléiades 1A and 1B, which have been flying around the globe since 2011 and 2012, providing high-resolution images every day - but no finished color photographs. In order to create the images for the picture book, the image data from different wavelength ranges had to be processed with special software. The final pictures show the fascinating world of the cities - but also make you think about how humans change their lifeworld. display

To the book:

CITIES
Focal points of humanity

Eovision, Salzburg 2016, 49.95

.De science.de - Xenia El Mourabit
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