Urban footprint is the amount of land required to sustain urban metabolism including the process of waste assimilation. The basic indicator to quantify urban footprint is the proportion of built up and the reduction of other land use types. This analysis gains importance in the context of rapid urbanization and consequent pressure on land, water, energy and infrastructure. Urbanisation in India is taking place at a faster rate with urban population growing at around 2.3 percent per annum. Understanding the dynamics of urban expansion is critical for providing basic amenities and infrastructure. Multi resolution remote sensing data provides the spatial data on temporal scale which is useful to capture urban footprint dynamics. This paper focuses on urban footprint dynamics for four Indian metropolis using Landsat time-series data since 1970’s. Various spatial metrics have been computed to understand the urban dynamics and its implications on other land uses. At city level the use of this metrics for administrative and composite (administrative+sprawl) boundary of a city gives us the spatiotemporal patterns of urbanization, and enable comparison across all cities. This work illustrates of the usefulness of metrics as possible instruments in devising land-use policy for future urban growth.
Key words: Urbanization, urban footprint, landscape metrics.