Geospatial measurement of urban sprawl using multi-temporal datasets from 1991 to 2021: case studies of four Indian medium-sized cities

Vishal Chettry

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1 Citation (Scopus)


In recent decades, medium-sized Indian cities have experienced accelerated urban growth due to the saturation of large cities. Such rapid urban growth combined with inadequate urban planning has triggered urban sprawl in medium-sized Indian cities. In this context, the present study focuses on the geospatial measurement of urban sprawl in four rapidly expanding Indian medium-sized cities located in diverse physiographic regions, such as Lucknow urban agglomeration (UA), Bhubaneswar UA, Raipur UA, and Dehradun UA. Multi-temporal Landsat imageries from 1991 to 2021 were downloaded for land cover classification through the maximum likelihood classification tool in ArcGIS 10.3. Thereafter, spatiotemporal land cover change detection was performed based on the classified land cover maps. The presence of urban sprawl was detected using the relative entropy index while the urban expansion index quantified the urban sprawl typologies such as edge expansion, leapfrog development, and ribbon development. The results exhibited a rapid rise in built-up land cover from 1991 to 2021. The prevalence of urban sprawl was detected in all four cities as per the relative entropy index. Edge expansion typology of urban sprawl was dominant compared to leapfrog development and ribbon development. Such urban growth phenomenon creates a hindrance in promoting sustainable urban development in medium-sized Indian cities. The results obtained from this paper would assist urban planners and policymakers in developing strategies to encourage planned urban growth. This paper exhibits the potential of geoinformatics to monitor and analyze urban sprawl.

Original languageEnglish
Article number860
JournalEnvironmental Monitoring and Assessment
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 12-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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