Accelerating urbanization all over the world has renewed interdisciplinary interests and public concerns over the impacts of rapid urbanization in general and urban sprawl in particular. Despite the voluminous literature on the costs and impacts of urban sprawl, we still do not have a conceptually rigorous and operationally straightforward methodology to quantitatively characterize sprawl in space and time. By integrating GIS and remote sensing techniques, this paper presents a new quantitative method to measure and visualize urban sprawl. Conceptually grounded in the notion of urban field, this method is capable of comparing new built-up areas against the background of two-dimensional urban fields in the emerging new galactic metropolis. The new approach was tested in the city of Nanchang, China, for detecting signatures of the three types of sprawl - continuous, infilling/amalgamated, and leapfrog - on the landscape. Initial results demonstrated the robustness of the method, with each type of sprawl exhibiting different spatial and temporal signatures.
- Urban field theory
- Urban sprawl
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies