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This proposal was moved to: Urban Energy Efficiency 2015


Our D_City report and network concept diagram promote delivery options for the global Earth observation system of systems (GEOSS) project.



Our D_City network concept diagram and manifesto/report are the world's first comprehensive explanations of the huge intergovernmental sciences project called the Global Earth Observation System of Systems.

GEOSS was launched the same year as Google Earth (2005) and is today's 'comprehensive global design science' vision to manage our planet's resources via virtual environmental modelling of real world challenges.

It updates Buckminster Fuller's World Game, Spaceship Earth and Geoscope ideas as well as Al Gore's 1992 Digital Earth vision.

The GEOSS co-ordination secretariat, called the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Geneva, has 90 nations and 77 international science organisations as members. Its mandate has been extended for a second 10-year period, to 2025.

The D_City: Digital Earth | Virtual Nations | Data Cities report 'slices and dices' (explains various subsets of) GEOSS to inform current and potential urban development professionals about their potentials to lead different aspects of this vastly complex mission.

The report is dedicated to legendary MIT Professor William J (Bill) Mitchell, who invented the currently popular term 'Smart Cities' and was a key mentor of the lead editor, Davina Jackson, when she edited an Australian architecture journal during the 1990s.

The D_City report is online at GEO sponsored two print runs, which have been circulated to (and applauded by) leading geospatial scientists, urban planners and architects.

The Editorial Board includes internationally distinguished scientists, architects and other relevant thought-leaders from the main GEOSS participating sectors: Research, Government, Commerce and Commons. Editors are listed on p2 of the report. The network concept diagram is on p5 (Introducing the Network chapter).

GEOSS is humanity's critical plan to manage our planet via Earth observations technologies that are underpinning what the OECD calls 'the new space economy'.


Category of the Action

Integrated action plan for the world as a whole

What actions do you propose?

The DCity report covers a wide range of challenges, goals, projects and potentials to evolve the GEOSS vision. The network concept diagram has 15 cells/bubbles of  'action agendas' which need to be activated across a wide range of differently relevant groups, needing support from the entire UN system (re the international Government sector).

At D_City, we are working with GEO and other relevant groups to evolve our first report into a valuable new textbook for future tertiary and online courses on urban development and planning. We also are promoting other ideas to support GEOSS: eg the blog at (promoting the world's first Virtual Nations project) and the current Sydney exhibition called Spaceship Earth: Observing Our Planet from Satellites (

Where will these actions be taken?

Our 'Regional Challenges' (pp118-145) and 'Global Strategies' (pp108-117) sections of the D_City report outline different challenges and emerging measurement and mitigation approaches. Geospatial technologies can help us answer these difficulties and dilemmas.

Who will take these actions?

See the D_City network concept diagram, p5 of the ebook at

What are key benefits?

—More detailed and 'joined up' knowledge of how natural systems interact at global, regional and local scales. (Solving the problem that you can't manage what you can't understand.)

—Accelerated integrations of natural systems data and simulations into new plans and simulations of buildings and cities.

—Creation of globally linked and compatible national systems of 'spatial data infrastructure' --managing vast floods of data for critical purposes.

—More internationally effective collaborations on major multi-national disasters.

—GEOSS is a serious 'positive solutions' action plan evolving from last decade's controversial UN FCCC (post-Kyoto) processes of quantifying greenhouse gas emissions and introducing sanctions ('sticks') for non-compliance. This vision does not preach 'sustainability' (a word reeking of 'no change' reassurance to conservatives) but accelerating positive solutions.

What are the proposal’s costs?

GEOSS is a global plan which is co-ordinated by a small secretariat in Geneva and DCity is a small communications agency in Sydney, both operating on small budgets to mutually support a vast number of other international groups (see pp10-11 of the DCity report) to play their unique parts in accelerating the shared vision.

Time line

Short term: A new Implementation Plan for GEOSS is being developed now for the period 2016-2025. During this period, it would be good to see the United Nations persuade its member states to each introduce a 'Virtual Nations' vision for co-ordinating environmental simulations to solve real world challenges. Also to accelerate development of their national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI systems) based on Europe's already legislated INSPIRE model.

Medium term: Improving the GEOSS technology 'system of systems', ironing out political problems, delivering continual innovations towards the overall goal of a global society that is well-balanced in its health and use of the planet's natural resources.

Long term: GEOSS will be recognised as a key facilitator of the science, governance, commercial and community concepts that must underpin this century's global culture -- as linear systems underpinned last century's culture known as 'modernism'.


Many other proposals in your other contests are conceptually acceptable as 'sub-proposals' of the GEOSS vision. We would want to report on these and other GEOSS-relevant projects in future editions of D_City – and D_City is merely one of multitudes of media and communications channels that can be supporting GEOSS as humanity's major technology solutions mission.

How do these sub-proposals fit together?

See D_City network concept diagram p5 of the report at

Explanation of model inputs

For detailed technical information, see the Virtual Nations and Networks, Planetary Systems Modelling and Global Strategies chapters of the DCity report pp82-117.


1. Recent major advances in the GEOSS project are posted on the D_City blog here:

2. D_City is listed on the Publications page at GEO ( and is promoted on the following geospatial industry websites:

2. Davina Jackson is listed as an author in these two Digital Earth: Vision 2020 scientific papers produced via the GEOSS member group: International Society for Digital Earth (all three main editors of D_City are ISDE members).

— (International Journal of Digital Earth)

— (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

RELEVANT MODELLING CONCEPTS suggested by D_City Editorial Board member Professor Michael J. Batty, Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London:

Batty, Michael. 2010. 'Integrated Models and Grand Challenges', in ARCNews, Winter 2010-11. Redlands, CA: Esri.

Walsh, Claire L. Richard J, Dawson, Jim W. Hall, Stuart L, Barr, Michael Batty, Abigail Bristow et al, 2010. 'Assessment of climate change mitigation and adaptation in cities', in Institution of Civil Engineers Proceedings, Urban Design and Planning Vol. 164 Issue DP2, Paper 1000018. ICE Publishing.