PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (2): 271-282.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.02.010

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A comparison of spatial and temporal characteristics of urban expansion in India during 1990-2014

Yao XIONG1(), Runqiu PAN1,2,*(), Gang XU1, Limin JIAO1,2, Kai LI3   

  1. 1. School of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    2. Key Laboratory of Geographic Information System, Ministry of Education, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
    3. The Third Bureau of China State Construction Engineering Corporation, Wuhan 430073, China
  • Received:2018-04-03 Revised:2018-10-11 Online:2019-02-28 Published:2019-02-28
  • Contact: Runqiu PAN;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41571385.


India is a developing country with a population only smaller than China, and is an important location of the Belt and Road Initiative. India is in the process of rapid urbanization and studying the urbanization characteristics of India is of great significance for understanding urban expansion globally. But within China there are relatively limited studies and reports on urbanization and urban expansion in India. In this study, we selected 10 Indian cities with more than 1 million people, and obtained the land use and population data of these cities based on the Landsat images in 1990, 2000, and 2014. The built-up density in each ring was calculated after the cities were divided into equidistant concentric rings by using the concentric ring analysis method. A multi-dimensional comparative analysis of urban expansion was conducted for these India cities through growth rate, density, intensity, and landscape indices. The results show that: 1) Urban land expansion is faster than population growth. The average annual growth rate of urban land is 3.27 and 2.43 times of the average annual growth rate of the population. 2) The density of urban land is decreasing with the distance from the city center and it quickly decreases within the urban core area. Temporally, urban land density gradually increases in the same concentric ring over time. Cities have expanded outwardly in a dispersed manner, and urban forms have become scattered, especially in the second period (2000-2014). 3) The degree of fragmentation of urban land is consistent with the spatial variation of urban expansion intensity. Areas with the most active urban expansion and the most severe landscape fragmentation shifted outward over time, and urban expansion has a significant impact on the landscape pattern. In the context of global urban expansion, this study provides an Indian sample for understanding the spatial and temporal characteristics of urban expansion and also provides analytical methods and ideas for studying urban expansion in other regions.

Key words: urban expansion, urban form, concentric analysis, landscape fragmentation, India