“Earth Observation for Municipalities” in the Portuguese Central region

The municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra, in the district of Coimbra, is hosting the second edition of the "Earth Observation for Municipalities" sessions. The event is organized in partnership with the Comunidade Intermunicipal (CIM) da Região de Coimbra, the Geospatial Competence Center, and the Municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra.


Following its debut in the North last November, the “Earth Observation for Municipalities” initiative by the Portuguese Space Agency now moves to the Central region for another day of discussions, debates, and practical case presentations on the use of satellite data. The session is scheduled for February 7th at the Municipal Auditorium of Pampilhosa da Serra and will be part of the celebrations for the 10th anniversary of the Intermunicipal Community (CIM) of the Coimbra Region, one of the entities supporting this initiative, along with its Geospatial Information Competence Center (CGEO), and the Municipality of Pampilhosa da Serra.

“With this initiative, we continue to discuss the needs of local institutions and, at the same time, promote the potential of Earth Observation in seeking solutions. The goal is to understand obstacles and present opportunities, ensuring that all municipalities, regardless of their location, can access information collected by space technologies and become familiar with the national, regional, and local ecosystem they can collaborate with,” explains Carolina Sá, Earth Observation Officer at the Portuguese Space Agency.

Jorge Brito, Executive Secretary of the CIM of the Coimbra Region, emphasizes the importance of holding this session in the region: “This is a territory with very particular characteristics, covering more forested rural areas, urban areas, and coastal zones.” Thus, “the use of this information and space-based technologies, with accurate data, combined with research and development of appropriate methods, has become increasingly essential in decision-making, whether in land planning and management operations or crisis scenarios, such as forest fires,” he points out. Jorge Brito hopes that the session will serve as a “driving force for the increasing use of satellite data by municipalities,” contributing to the development of the entire region.

In turn, the Mayor of Pampilhosa da Serra, Jorge Alves Custódio, notes that the municipality has been sought after “by various companies in the field of space technologies, interested in the exceptional conditions that Pampilhosa da Serra offers for astronomical observation and technological experimentation.” In this sense, the mayor anticipates that the “Earth Observation for Municipalities” session will help highlight the potential of the municipality “as a suitable location for activities related to space exploration and scientific research.” The municipality has been working towards this goal, as evidenced by the implementation of the Pampilhosa Business Center project, a coworking space in the town of Pampilhosa da Serra aimed at this sector, expected to be completed in 2025,” he adds.

The session is scheduled to begin at 10:00 am, with a panel focused on the role of Earth Observation in municipalities, covering various topics such as the Copernicus program, smart cities, or challenges in the use of satellite images. The morning continues with a block dedicated to practical cases, with presentations on forest and urban management, as well as the monitoring of pollution and infrastructure, for example.

During lunch, a matchmaking session will facilitate the exchange of contacts, knowledge, experiences, and the establishment of new partnerships. In the afternoon, the roundtable “Innovation in Municipalities: Access to Data and New Applications” stands out, with representatives from municipal institutions in the Central region, as well as academia and the private sector and central public administration. This will be followed by a discussion forum with the audience.

The event “Earth Observation for Municipalities – Central Region” is open to the public and free, but registration is mandatory, with participation limited to the auditorium’s capacity. Registrations are open until January 31st.

The “Earth Observation for Municipalities” sessions will later move on to the remaining Portuguese regions: Lisbon and Vale do Tejo, Alentejo, Algarve, Azores Autonomous Region, and Madeira Autonomous Region. Dates for the upcoming events will be announced soon.

Check the agenda of the event here.

Portugal Space
16 of January, 2024