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  • Landscape shape index, as a potencial indicator of urban development in Hungary
    78-88
    Views:
    361

    The study of settlement shape, morphology and structure is a classic topic of urban geography. Since the 1960s multiple shape indices have been developed. Urban patterns were then compared with geometric forms or, alternatively their temporal changes were tracked and analysed. In the current study we adapted the landscape shape index (LSI) to analyse the historical shape development of eight Hungarian cities. The LSI is capable to demonstrate the functional and mutual relationship between the developed area and their immediate physical and natural environment. Over the past 230 years the land area of the studied cities has increased manifold for several reasons: on average, an areal increase of 10.4 to 24.5 was observed for the eight settlements, while their perimeter increased by 8.8 to 30.3 times. Simultaneously with their size growth, the studied cities are characterized by an increasingly fragmented and dissected ground plans. Consequently, due to the longer border between the developed areas and the adjacent natural zones, urban areas have become increasingly sensitive to environmental effects over the past century, while mutual ecological and environmental interactions has also considerably increased between the adjoining zones. In general, cities of hilly and low-mountain areas had the highest LSIs, whereas cities located on relatively flat grounds had comparatively low LSIs. We also investigated the rank correlation of the historical change of LSI of the studied settlements. Cities of high positive correlations (> 0.9) were classified into two major categories. Miskolc, Pécs, Szeged and Kecskemét belonged to the group of higher LSIs, whereas Székesfehérvár and Nyíregyháza fell into the class of medium LSIs and the third category included Debrecen and Győr, cities of low (< 0.9) LSIs. Based on the temporal trends of the LSIs, our results provide applicable information for decision makers in order to monitor, manage and track their investments, city management policies and infrastructural development strategies.

  • Landscape change in Aizawl city: A geospatial approach to assess landscape indices and human-induced transformation
    65-81
    Views:
    221

    The change in an area’s natural surroundings is called landscape change. This change may be gradual or accelerated depending on the factors that influence the change. Natural elements such as native animals and birds seldom bring about any modification to the environment. However, human-induced change is devastating and severely transforms the environment. Such environmental transformation can be evaluated with the land use/ land cover assessment through satellite imagery and calculation of landscape indices. This paper attempts to ascertain the direction and the nature of the human-induced change in the city of Aizawl. To this end, the city has been divided into four zones to enable inter-zone comparisons. A northeast and southwest direction of human landscape transformation has been ascertained with the help of GIS and remote sensing techniques and landscape indices in Aizawl city.

  • Landuse/landcover change process in a tropical semi-arid zone: case of two rural communes (Chadakori and Saé-Saboua) in Maradi region, Republic of Niger
    1-12
    Views:
    200

    The study aimed to analyze the process of Landuse/Landcover change of two rural communes (Saé Saboua and Chadakori) of Maradi region (Republic of Niger) over the past 28 years (1986 – 2014), through landscape structure analysis by diachronic cartographic approach and landscape indices. Mixed classification of temporal series of Landsat images led to identifying six Landuse/Landcover (LULC) classes, namely ”cultivated land under shrubs and trees”, ”cultivated land under trees”, “continuous cropland”, ”fallow/pasture land”, ”forest reserve”, and ”settlement”. The composition and structure of the studied landscapes have greatly changed from 1986 to 2014. The class ”cultivated land under trees” was the landscape matrix in 1986 with 38.65% of landscape total area but in 2001 and 2014 the class ”continuous cropland” became the landscape matrix. The changes also affected the ”forest reserve” which was transformed to smallholder agricultural land from 1986 to 2014. The area occupied by classes ”cultivated land under trees” changed from 38.65% in 1986 to 8.78% in 2014; and from 1986 to 2014, the area occupied by ”fallow/pasture land” has decreased of about 16%. The decrease in these classes was in favor of ¨continuous crop land¨, ¨settlement¨ and “cultivated land under shrubs and trees” which respectively gained 38%, 0.3% and 8.15% of their areas in 1986. The results of this study reflect the problem of access to land and even land saturation in semi-arid region, a consequence of strong population growth. They also contribute to a better rethinking of agricultural practices in order to initiate adaptation and resilience strategies for the population facing food insecurity and poverty.