Implications of urban expansion on land use and land cover: towards sustainable development of Mega Manila, Philippines


Planning of land use and infrastructure in advance for a population that is projected to grow rapidly is highly important for its sustainable development. A correlative approach of land use shifts and infrastructure design is perhaps the best sustainable urban development option that can be made at present. This paper is aimed at suggesting policy foresight, in terms of infrastructure and land use management of Mega Manila. Using Land Change Modeller, this study assessed landscape pattern, change process and future scenario of land changes in the study area. The land use/landscape change pattern, with vulnerability analysis and predicting 2030 land use maps, enabled us to understand impacts of urban expansion on different land use sectors. Overall analysis of gains and losses in different land use categories across different sectors between 1989 and 2010 indicated that built-up area experienced the highest net gain of 90.96%. Two future scenario maps were projected to indicate the potential effects of urban expansion on forested areas near study area. Urban expansion was predicted to expand by 897.16 sq. km (36% gain) with protected area scenario. Contributions to this gain were projected to come from agricultural land of 274.94 sq. km, identified as one of the major contributors to urban expansion. Following the analysis, the paper argues that land use management plan should be revised in the Mega Manila city to reduce the loss of protected areas and anthropogenic impacts.

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Several sources including Water and Urban Initiative (WUI) project of the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) were consulted for accessing necessary data and information. The WUI was focused on enhancing the urban water environment in developing countries in Asia. The authors would like to thank WUI and others for enabling this research successful.


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Correspondence to Pankaj Kumar.

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Mishra, B.K., Mebeelo, K., Chakraborty, S. et al. Implications of urban expansion on land use and land cover: towards sustainable development of Mega Manila, Philippines. GeoJournal 86, 927–942 (2021).

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  • Land use change
  • Vulnerability
  • Urban planning
  • Manila