cover spmodelingSpatial Modeling and Assessment of Urban Form - Analysis of Urban Growth: From Sprawl to Compact Using Geospatial Data provides a wealth of information about urban growth, change and form. Through GIS and remote sensing, urban change is well explained using assessment, metrics and methods that are well researched.



Spatial Modeling and Assessment of Urban Form: Sprawl to Compact Using Geospatial Data

Biswajeet Pradhan




2017 | 331 pages ISBN: 978-3-319-54217-1


Reviewed by

Jeff Thurston


Geospatial data is being used around the globe today for managing urban environments. Remote sensing technologies, coupled with geographic information systems (GIS) are powerful, prominent and effective tools that support design, operations and planning in cities. "The book explains these two kinds of urban forms (sprawl and compact urban development) in detail regarding their advantages, disadvantages, indicators, assessment, modeling, implementation and their relationship with urban sustainability. It confirms that the proposed modeling approaches, geospatial data and GIS are very practical for identifying urban growth, land use change patterns and their general trends in future."

The book opens with an introduction to urban growth and expansion. This is explained in detail within a context of urban development and sprawl versus compact development. The assessment od sprawl is described, and this includes a complete discussion about change within urban environments. For all practical reasons, mostly sizes of these areas, remote sensing and mapping tools are desired because of their ability to update and present this kind of information. 

Several maps, charts and tables are presented and the added color of these graphics keeps the reader interested and understanding. The concept of compactness is perhaps less understood. Compactness relates directly to physical properties of the urban system, and social elements as well as human interaction is similarly connected to compactness. However, as this explains, compactness alone does not necessarily mean sustainability. The inclusion of this presentation sheds light on this subject and readers will find the dicussion informative. The metrics and methods used for this kind of assessment is detailed. 

As might be expected, land use modeling is outlined in detail in this book. Change detection and model validation are also outlined. All of these analysis are explained in terms of population dynamics and growth. The growth of built up areas is considered to be a major characteristic of growth in cities. And it is rapid. Capturing the rate of change and building requires consideration of timing. GIS are particularly important in compiling this kind of data.

In the case of Tripoli, urban modeling and prediction are explained. We find that formulas and theories abound in terms of these kinds of assessments. And some of that modeling might better be viewed in terms of simulation. This begins to raise many questions about prediction and uncertainty. How we assess this data, how it is captured, assessing the quality and so on - all contribute to propagating perspectives and bias within these models. A  significant amount of detail is provided in a later case study involving the Kajang City, Malaysia. A final discussion involving brownfields is explained and provided. 

In summary, the book "Spatial Modeling and Assessment of Urban Form - Analysis of Urban Growth: From Sprawl to Compact Using Geospatial Data" provides a wealth of information about assessing and evaluating urban form. In this respect, this book acts as a good learning text suitable for teaching this subject. The editor has included useful contributors who provide a deep understanding of urban form and change. It is also important that they understand the role of GIS and remote sensing in this kind of work - which is all to often not available. For this reason this book is worthwhile to investigate.