Durban is the greenest city in the world according to the Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index (HUGSI) 2019, an AI-powered satellite solution to help decision-makers monitor the proportion and health of green spaces in cities across the globe.

Jenna Robinson, Husqvarna South Africa marketing manager for this leading global manufacturer of outdoor power products, said the Husqvarna team was elated that Durban had taken first place out of 98 cities.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil took second place and Austin, USA was third.

The Husqvarna Urban Green Space Index 2019 was launched as part of the Husqvarna Living City event in Gothenburg, Sweden, gathering international thought leaders, industry people and media from the green space community.

It applies computer vision and deep learning techniques to satellite images, unveiling key insights into the current state and historic development of vegetation and the surrounding environment in urban areas. This shows just how green cities really are and alerts urban planners if densification is reducing the amount of urban green spaces.

Robinson points out that green spaces are the lungs of cities, improving air quality, managing flooding and rainwater and contributing to the physical and mental health of citizens. As urbanization continues, it is vital to monitor the proportion between grey and green areas.

“Safeguarding our urban green spaces is a huge part of our global culture and the team works hard to help create a sustainable future through innovative products that are built around low carbon emissions and community work,” explains Robinson.

Anders Johanson, CTO, Husqvarna Group adds that the company believes that AI and emerging technologies will play a key role in the future of green space management.

“With HUGSI, we want to draw attention to the importance of green spaces and to empower decision-makers to safeguard green areas in cities by providing them with indisputable facts. Digitalizing green space management will enable predictive care of parks, improving recreational and environmental values, as well as operational efficiency,” he says.

The full HUGSI data set on regional and city level is available at www.hugsi.green

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