Land Use Land Cover Change in the fringe of eThekwini Municipality: Implications for urban green spaces using remote sensing
AbstractConcerns on urban environmental quality, increasing knowledge on impacts of climate change and pursuit for sustainable development have increased the need for past, current and future knowledge on the transformation of remnant urban fringe green ecosystems. Using land-cover change modeler and a Markov chain analysis on multi-temporal SPOT imagery, this study sought to determine a twenty two-year past and future land use and land cover trend and its implication on green spaces in an eThekwini Municipal Area’s peripheral settlement. Results show a consistent pattern of decline in land use and land cover types associated with green spaces and an increase in impervious surfaces. The study confirms recent urban bio-physical transformation and anticipated increased pressure on peripheral urban green spaces in eThekwini Municipality. These changes can be attributed to natural urban growth and government led efforts like the Reconstruction and Development Programme. Findings in the study highlight the challenges faced by eThekwini Municipality, and indeed other South Africa’s urban areas in maintaining urban green spaces and mitigating related implications like those associated with climate change. This study further demonstrates the value of multi-temporal remotely sensed datasets in planning, optimization and sustainable management of urban landscapes.
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