Human Planet Forum 2019 - Understanding Human Presence on Planet Earth

Palisades (NY), United States, 30 September–2 October 2019


Humans continue to change the surface of the Earth at a rapid pace, and in turn our settlements, infrastructure, and activities remain highly sensitive to environmental variability and change. Monitoring and prediction of urbanization, population movement, rural development, and related changes in the Human Planet are therefore vital. The Human Planet Initiative of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is working to harness new data sources, technologies and analytic approaches to address key needs for improved understanding and modeling and for better tools for decision making in support of sustainable development. 


The second Human Planet Forum provides a unique venue for expert groups working on different aspects of these issues to meet together to share progress, assess areas of common interest, and coordinate activities and plans. Key topics include:

1) Advances in slum mapping

2) Downscaled future scenarios of population and economic activity

3) Global definition of cities and rural areas

4) Mapping of secondary and tertiary administrative boundaries

5) Validation and intercomparison strategies for human settlement and population data

6) Applications, decision support, and stakeholder engagement

7) Development of Human Planet Atlases in the 2020-2022 time frame


The program will include a mix of keynote talks, panel discussions, working meetings, and interactive sessions. 


Download flyer.


Venue and Access

Lamont campus, Columbia University, 61 Route 9W, Palisades NY USA.

Accessible to Newark Liberty (EWR), LaGuardia (LGA), Westchester (HPN), and J.F. Kennedy (JFK) airports; Amtrak train service (New York City or Newark, New Jersey).


To register and book a hotel room in the room block at HNA Palisades, please go to: Registration: $50 (regular); $25 (students).


Organizers and Sponsors

Host: Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia U.

Co-organizer: European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Contributing Organizations: Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) project; Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data; ITC/University of Twente; Thematic Research Network on Data and Statistics (TReNDS); World Wide Human Geography Data (WWHGD) Working Group

Funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; European Commission; NASA