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Three decades of land use variations in Mexico City

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Uncontrolled urbanization is one of the most important problems of our changing world. Land use change evaluation is an important tool in planning further development in populated areas. This paper reports the results of an investigation on integration of remote sensing and geographic information systems (GIS) to detect urban growth. Here, we attempt to determine urban area growth in the SW part of Mexico City by using multi-temporal MSS NALC images (1973), Landsat TM images (1992) and a 2000 ETM+ image. Techniques on change detection evaluation were employed to identify areas of urban encroachment. Statistics on development stages of the expanded urban areas were generated and various thematic maps were produced. Remote sensing techniques were used to carry out land use/land cover change detection by using multi-temporal Landsat data. Urban growth patterns were analysed by using a GIS-based modelling approach. The images were processed to enhance the spectral response of the surface materials and define land cover types that characterize distinct land uses in the study area. After processing, the signatures typical of the most important land use types were obtained. Supervised classification procedures were applied to all images and the resulting evaluation of land use changes in the Mexico City urban area was plotted. Quantitative results of changes, which were computed with a post-classification method, were used to analyse the change pattern in urban land classes. Ground data were gathered from aerial photographs taken in 1973, 1992 and ortho-photographs taken in 2000 to determine the accuracy of the classification method. Results show that the urbanized area surrounding the SW part of Mexico City has expanded at a maximum rate of 36.29% during the 1980s. The integration of remote sensing and GIS was found to be effective in monitoring and analysing urban growth patterns.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Asociacion Para Evitar la Ceguera en Mexico, I.A.P. Vicente Garcia Torres #46 Mexico DF 0430, Mexico 2: Instituto de Geofisica, UNAM, Cd. Universitaria, Mexico, DF 04510, Mexico 3: Facultad de Ingenieria, UNAM, Cd. Universitaria, Mexico, DF 04510, Mexico

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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