Geographical Indicators for Sustainable Management of Urban Sprawl
Uttam Kumar1,2          Anindita Dasgupta3          C. Mukhopadhyay1           T.V. Ramachandra2,3,4,*
1Department of Management Studies, 2Centre for Sustainable Technologies (astra), 3Centre for Ecological Sciences [CES],
4Centre for infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning [CiSTUP], Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560012, India.
*Corresponding author:


By the end of present decade, more than half of the contemporary human society will reside in urban areas. More and more people will migrate to towns and cities for education, jobs, to enjoy city comfort, avail civic facilities, etc. and cities will continue to urbanise rapidly. Currently, the urban growth rate stands at 2.5% annually adding around 55 million people to urban areas around the world. Natural demographic increases have begun to overtake migration as the main cause of urban sprawl and urbanisation. The consequences of rapid urbanisation are transformation of productive agricultural lands, vegetation, water bodies to builtup / settlement and paved surfaces at an alarming rate. Centres like Bangalore who were secondary towns not so long ago, have become metropolitan areas during the past few decades. Bangalore has been experiencing rapid urbanisation and its uncontrolled growth has consequently changed the structure of the landscape impairing its functional capabilities. This has put tremendous pressure on infrastructure, civic amenities and public services in the city and posses several management challenges.

Earth observation satellites provide data over a considerable range of spatial and temporal resolution for understanding the spatial and temporal aspects of landscape change and the impact of urban development on the surrounding environment. These data are classified to derive metrics that are quantitative measures for spatial pattern, which are helpful in understanding the landscape dynamics and linking the agents of change. In this communication, multi-resolution remote sensing data analyses is carried out to study the type and pattern of urban growth in Greater Bangalore by  dividing the city into 8 zones for 1973, 1992, 2000, 2006 and 2010. The study reveals that there has been a 584% urban growth with a 66% decline in water bodies and 74% decrease in vegetation cover in the last 37 years. The city was more compact in 1973 and began to disperse in all directions with decreasing lung spaces and increase in the number of urban colonies (patches) as well as urban density. Most large urban patches have developed in west, south-west and southern regions of the city corresponding to the policy decision of setting up small scale industries, Information Technology-Bio-Technology firms and consequent housing projects, where traffic congestion is a serious issue. The abrupt growth of the city in certain directions needs attention of the urban planners so that the resources of the city are well managed and maintained.

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Citation : Uttam Kumar, Anindita Dasgupta, Chiranjit Mukhopadhyay and Ramachandra. T.V., 2012, Geographical Indicators for Sustainable Management of Urban Sprawl., Proceedings of SAMANWAY 2012 – National Conference Connecting Science and Society, Faculty Hall, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, March 3-4, 2012, pp. 1-17.
* Corresponding Author :
Dr. T.V. Ramachandra
Energy & Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore – 560 012, India.
Tel : +91-80-2293 3099/2293 3503-extn 107,      Fax : 91-80-23601428 / 23600085 / 23600683 [CES-TVR]
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