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Impact of Rapid Urbanization on the City of Bhubaneswar, India

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section A: Physical Sciences Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Rapid and unplanned urbanization of cities has been a cause of great concern world over. Increased urbanization has immensely altered the Land Use pattern of several Indian cities, thereby altering the physical properties of the land surface. The pronounced effect of urban heat island (UHI) apart from the acute stress on limited natural resources are consequences of this rapid urbanization. UHI effect manifests as unexpected rise in city temperatures when compared to their surrounding areas, thus making them unfriendly for habitation over time. The present work analyses the effect of UHI on Bhubaneswar, an Indian city undergoing rapid urbanization in recent times, utilizing land use and land cover (LULC) change data from Landsat over a 25 km radius about the city and MODIS land surface temperatures (LST) at 1 km2 spatial resolution for a period of 15 years (2000–2014). From the study, significant changes in LULC through over-exploitation of natural resources and the related spatio-temporal variations in LST has been identified as one major factor responsible for changes in the UHI effect over Bhubaneswar. Owing to rapid urbanization (83% increase in 15 years), the city has undergone major changes in LULC aggregating to a massive ~ 89% decrease in dense vegetation and ~ 83% decrease in crop fields over this time period. Analyses of the changes in the urban energy balance and resulting UHI effect across many such Indian cities undergoing rapid urban growth is quite essential for mitigating the negative impacts of urbanization for a long-term sustainability.

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The work was carried out as part of a Department of Science and Technology-India and UK-India Education & Research Initiative-UK (DST-UKIERI) funded collaborative project between Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar, India and University of Southampton, UK (DST reference number INT/UK/P-100/14 and UKIERI reference number DST-2014-15-046) and the authors are grateful to the funding agencies. The authors also acknowledge the institutions viz. USGS/NASA for providing the Landsat and MODIS data free of cost. Standard satellite data processing and analysis software have been used for data processing and visualization in this work. Part of this work was presented at the SPIE Asia–Pacific Remote Sensing Conference, 2016 [28]. Due permission has been obtained from SPIE for representing some figures and text in the present manuscript.

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Correspondence to D. Swain.

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Swain, D., Roberts, G.J., Dash, J. et al. Impact of Rapid Urbanization on the City of Bhubaneswar, India. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., India, Sect. A Phys. Sci. 87, 845–853 (2017).

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