Friday, November 18, 2011

Analyzing Land Use Change In Urban Environments


Metropolitan areas in the United States are growing at unprecedented rates, creating extensive urban landscapes. Many of the farmlands, wetlands, forests, and deserts that formed the America of 1900 have been transformed during the past 100 years into human settlements. Almost everyone has seen these changes to their local environment but without a clear understanding of their impacts. It is not until we study these landscapes from a spatial perspective and the time scale of decades that we can begin to measure the changes that have occurred and predict the impact of changes to come.
The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Urban Dynamics Research (UDR) program studies the landscape transformations that result from the growth of metropolitan regions over time. Using sources such as historic maps, aerial photographs, and Landsat satellite data, USGS scientists first assemble retrospective urban land use databases that reflect several decades of change. These databases are then used to analyze the effects of urbanization on the landscape, and to model urban growth and land use change under alternative growth scenarios.

Land use change in lower Queen Anne, Seattle, 1920-1953, by Seattle Municipal Archives

more about urban land use:


Innovation and the American Metropolis

Spatial Planning, Urban Form and Sustainable Transport: An Introduction

Research Methods in Urban and Regional Planning

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