Remote Sensing and GIS Spatial Analysis-Scenario Based Analysis of Future Urban Sprawl

Remote Sensing data or images can be used to assess past trends and current status of natural as well as man-made features on earth surface. Satellite images can be acquired based on need and using image characteristic/properties such as Spatial, temporal and spectral resolutions to create spatial data in the form of land use/land cover maps. GIS is used to create other spatial data such as road network, proximity to central business district etc.

The spatial data can be created in both raster and vector format including non-spatial data in the form of attributes for scenario based analysis. These data can also convert from raster to vector and vice versa as per need using image processing and GIS software.

These spatial data can be integrated to assess the changes in future based on some specific condition and constraints. As GIS allow to incorporating mathematical and simulation models, it is become easy to use these spatial data for assessment based on certain condition, which can be called as scenario based study.

Case Study to Understand the Scenario Analysis

This scenario was generated to ascertain urban change in terms of the cause and consequences of a time gap in planning and implementing policy, particularly with respect to government policies. For this analysis, a proposed land use plan is used, which was prepared by local development authorities in 2010 under Jaipur city’s master plan of 2025.

The local authority demarcated a land use class, i.e., a special area in this proposed plan, which is located in the eastern part of the city at 7km distance from the core city. This land use class is defined as Naya (New) Jaipur, which covers 10,500 hectares of land area for the development of a new township.

According to the primary source of information, Master Plan 2025, the existing structures in that area will be retained after the implementation of this planning policy, but further unplanned development will be restricted. However, an important requirement in this planning is the need for an entryway to the special area from the core city. The local authority is planning a 4 km long tunnel to that area and expects the tunnel will take five year to complete according to a primary source of information.


The simulated urban data for 2015 and 2025 are used to estimate the growth under the above planning conditions for this special area. Based on 2006 land use data, the urban area comprised 450 hectares in the special area. Simulation results of 2015 show that the urban area will increase to 1200 hectares and further increase to 1800 hectares in 2025 with no restrictions on unplanned development, as shown in Figure A. 

Figure A. Proposed Special Area and Green Zone in Master Plan of 2025 with Change in Urban Area 

Most of the urban change is taking place alongside roads, which can affect the prime location of planned development. Hence, in such a situation, if this policy’s implementation is delayed, the area will experience more urban change, which will further complicate the situation with regard to the implementation of the plan for this special area. 

Another area demarcated in the proposed master plan of 2025 is illustrated by a green polygon in Figure A. This area is within the eco-sensitive area (green zone), located in the northern part of the city. The principal aim of this zone is to conserve the natural features such as hills, forest, flora, and fauna. The zone is strictly reserved and is to be protected from any development, according to the master plan and primary source of information. In this zone, the urban area was estimated at around 35 hectares using 2006 land use data; whereas simulated data have shown enormous growth and the area is expected to be 500 hectares and 845 hectares, respectively, in 2015 and 2025 (Figure A).

The major cause of high growth in respect to the simulated data is the two main highways passing through from both sides of this zone. Urban change is very important for this zone and it is essential to understand how to control this sprawl. The results of policy analysis indicate that simulation and prediction modeling are very significant to understanding the dynamics of urban change patterns in the future.

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