Monitoring Metropolitan Growth Dynamics for Achieving Sustainable Urbanization (SDG 11.3) in Kolkata Metropolitan Area, India

In Remote Sensing
Volume (Issue): 13 (21)
Peer-reviewed Article

The mass accumulation of population in the larger cities of India has led to accelerated and unprecedented peripheral urban expansion over the last few decades. This rapid peripheral growth is characterized by an uncontrolled, low density, fragmented and haphazard patchwork of development popularly known as urban sprawl. The Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA) has been one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in India and is experiencing rampant suburbanization and peripheral expansion. Hence, understanding urban growth and its dynamics in these rapidly changing environments is critical for city planners and resource managers. Furthermore, understanding urban expansion and urban growth patterns are essential for achieving inclusive and sustainable urbanization as defined by the United Nations in the Sustainable Development Goals (e.g., SDGs, 11.3). The present research attempts to quantify and model the urban growth dynamics of large and diverse metropolitan areas with a distinct methodology considering the case of KMA. In the study, land use and land cover (LULC) maps of KMA were prepared for three different years (i.e., for 1996, 2006, and 2016) through the classification of Landsat imagery using a support vector machine (SVM) classification approach. Then, change detection analysis, landscape metrics, a concentric zone approach, and Shannon’s entropy approach were applied for spatiotemporal assessment and quantification of urban growth in KMA. The achieved classification accuracies were found to be 89.75%, 92.00%, and 92.75%, with corresponding Kappa values of 0.879, 0.904, and 0.912 for 1996, 2006, and 2016, respectively. It is concluded that KMA has been experiencing typical urban sprawl. The peri-urban areas (i.e., KMA-rural) are growing rapidly, and are characterized by leapfrogging and fragmented built-up area development, compared to the central KMA (i.e., KMA-urban), which has become more compact in recent years.