Evaluating the potential of Earth observation for supporting sustainable urban land use planning

Musakwa, Walter (2013-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In many developing countries, rapid urbanisation continues to substantially transform land from agricultural and rural land uses, as well as natural landscapes into urban areas. This leads to significant changes to the socio-economic fabric and nature of the natural environment. Data to monitor such transformation is often out of date, unreliable, in unstandardised format, cumbersome and expensive to collect or simply unavailable in urban centres of many developing countries. These characteristics inhibit local authorities‘ and other stakeholders‘ capacity to monitor and leverage resources toward sustainable urban development. Sustainable urban land use planning is a major objective of urban planning, but it is difficult to put into practice. This study investigates the efficacy of earth observation (EO) for collecting information required for sustainable urban land use planning and proposes the use of decision consequence analysis (DCA) as a simple and structured way to put sustainable urban development into practice. The study focuses on three central determinants of sustainable urban land use, namely (1) land use change and land use mix, (2) urban sprawl and (3) the urban built-up area. Consequently, urban sustainability indicators of these three components were identified. EO data for Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, was gathered and used to perform spatio-temporal analyses of the indicators in a geographic information system (GIS). This enabled the establishing of the positive or negative trajectory made toward achieving sustainable urban land use planning. The study demonstrates how the use of EO data, DCA, urban sustainability indicators and GIS can enhance local authorities‘ capacities for monitoring urban sustainability. EO data and urban sustainability indicators were used to develop an urban sustainability toolbox which facilitates evidence-based decision making. The results also show that urban sustainability indicators derived from EO are valuable in providing synoptic, up-to-date, standardised and normalised information on urban areas. Such information would be expensive and cumbersome to collect without the use of EO and GIS. As a result, earth observation will continue to play a key role in monitoring urban sustainability, particularly in developing countries.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die volgehoue en versnelde verstedeliking wat in baie ontwikkelende lande voorkom is voortdurend besig om landbougrond, plattelandse gebiede en natuurlike landskappe na stedelike areas om te skakel. Dit bring ʼn noemenswaardige verandering in die sosiaal-ekonomiese struktuur en aard van die natuurlike omgewing te wee. Data om hierdie veranderinge te monitor, is dikwels verouderd, onbetroubaar, nie in ʼn standaard formaat nie, omslagtig, te duur om te in te samel of net eenvoudig nie beskikbaar vir baie stedelike sentra van ontwikkelende lande nie. Hierdie faktore beperk plaaslike owerhede en ander belanghebbendes se moniteringskapasiteit en verhinder die beskikbaarstelling van hulpbronne vir volhoubare stedelike ontwikkeling. Beplanning vir volhoubare stedelike grondgebruik is ʼn belanrike doelwit, maar is moeilik om in die praktyk toe te pas. Hierdie studie ondersoek die doeltreffendheid van aardwaarneming (AW) vir die insamel van inligting wat vir volhoubare grondgebruik beplanning nodig is. Die studie stel die gebruik van analise van besluitnemingsgevolge (ABG) as ʼn eenvoudige en gestruktureerde manier voor om volhoubare stedelike ontwikkeling in die praktyk toe te pas. Die ondersoek fokus op drie hoof bepalende faktore van volhoubare stedelike grondgebruik, naamlik (1) verandering en vermenging van grondgebruik, (2) stedelike kruip, en (3) die beboude stedelike gebied. Gevolglik is aanwysers van die stedelike volhoubaarheid van hierdie drie komponente geïdentifiseer. AW-data vir Stellenbosch, 'n dorp in die Wes-Kaap provinsie van Suid-Afrika, is ingesamel om met behulp van ʼn geografiese inligtingstelsel (GIS) die aanwysers tyd-ruimtelik te analiseer. Dit het dit moontlik gemaak om die positiewe of negatiewe trajekte vir die bereiking van volhoubare stedelike grondgebruiksbeplanning vas te stel. Die studie demonstreer hoe AW-data, ABG, aanwysers van stedelike volhoubaarheid en GIS plaaslike owerhede se kapasiteit vir die monitering van volhoubaarheid in stede kan bevorder. AW-data en stedelike volhoubaarheidsaanwysers is gebruik om 'n stedelike volhoubaarheidsgereedskapkis te ontwikkel wat bewysgebaseerde besluitneming fasiliteer. Die resultate wys ook dat volhoubare stedelike aanwysers afgelei uit AW, nuttig is om sinoptiese, gestandardiseerde en genormaliseerde inligting oor stedelike gebiede te voorsien. Hierdie tipe inligting is duur en omslagtig om in te samel sonder die gebruik van AW en GIS. Gevolglik sal AW voortaan steeds 'n sleutelrol speel in die monitering van stedelike volhoubaarheid, veral in ontwikellende lande.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85575
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