Author/s:

Hassan, M.
Nazem, M.

Publisher:

Springer Netherlands

Year of Publication:

2016

As in many other developing countries, cities in Bangladesh have witnessed rapid urbanization, resulting in increasing amounts of land being taken over and therefore land cover changing at a faster rate. Until now, however, few efforts have been made to document the impact of land use and land cover changes on the climate, environment, and ecosystem of the country because of a lack of geospatial data and time-series information. By using open source Landsat data integrated with GIS technologies and other ancillary data, this study attempts to classify land use and create land cover maps, enabling post-classification change detection analysis. By this method, we document the spatial and temporal trajectory of urban expansion in Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh, over a 36-year period. The findings suggest that, over the study period, 56 % of the land cover has undergone change, mainly because of the expansion of built-up areas and other human activities. During the 36-year period, the built-up area around Chittagong city has expanded by 618 %, with an average annual rate of increase of 17.5 %. As a result of rapid urbanization, the vegetated hills near urban development areas face serious threats of further encroachment and degradation, given that 2178 ha of hills have already been intruded over the study period. Because urbanization processes in Bangladesh have traditionally been viewed as the result of population growth and economic development, very little work has been done to track the potential growth trajectory in a physical or spatial context. This study, therefore, will contribute to the current understanding of urban development in Bangladesh from a temporal and spatial point of view. Findings will be able to assist planners, stakeholders, and policy makers in appreciating the dynamism of urban growth and therefore will facilitate better planning for the future to minimize environmental impacts.

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