Monitoring sustainable urban development using built-up area indicators: a case study of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Walter Musakwa, Adriaan Van Niekerk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Rapid urbanisation in many developing countries causes land transformation from agricultural, rural, and natural landscapes into urban areas. Data to monitor this transformation are often out of date, unreliable, not in standard format, cumbersome and expensive to collect or simply unavailable. This inhibits local authorities and other stakeholders’ capacity to monitor and leverage resources towards sustainable urban development. This paper investigates the use of earth observation (EO) data for supporting sustainable urban development planning. The study demonstrates that EO adds value to sustainable urban development by providing area-wide and up-to-date thematic and geometric characterisation of the urban built-up area, which would be difficult to obtain from other data sources. This helps local planning authorities to monitor urban growth and sustainability, and facilitate evidence-based decision-making and an array of other practical uses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-566
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2015

Keywords

  • Building density
  • Building height
  • Earth observation
  • Impervious surfaces
  • Sustainable urban development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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