Phoenix, Arizona, USA: Applications of Remote Sensing in a Rapidly Urbanizing Desert Region

  • William L. Stefanov
  • Maik Netzband
  • Matthias S. Möller
  • Charles L. Redman
  • Chris Mack


The Phoenix metropolitan agglomeration (Fig. 7.1) is one of the fastest-growing conurbations in the United States, and is the focus of the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Project (CAP LTER) (Grimm et al. 2000, Grimm and Redman 2004). This project has been the locus of significant remote sensing investigation and characterization of the Phoenix urban and peri-urban areas (Stefanov 2002), combined with ground truthing and allied studies (Hope et al. 2003). The information derived from these and other studies is increasingly being used by local governments and regional planners (GP2100 2003). As an example, the City of Scottsdale, Arizona has used high-resolution, airborne, multispectral data to assess impervious and pervious land-cover percentages for surface water runoff studies. This use of remotely sensed information, rather than traditional ground-based surveys, produced estimated cost savings of eight to fifteen million dollars for the city (W. Erickson 1999). Construction of an advanced visualization and modeling environment (a “decision theater”) that integrates remotely sensed and other geospatial data for the Phoenix metropolitan region was completed in 2005 at Arizona State University (J. Fink 2005). Use of such an advanced system enables near real-time modeling of the impact of planning and development decisions. Remotely sensed data acquired at a variety of spatial, spectral, and temporal resolutions provides the basic biophysical information necessary to initialize models of urban resilience and sustainability.


Remote Sensing Urban Heat Island Urban Fringe LULC Change Change Detection Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • William L. Stefanov
    • 1
  • Maik Netzband
    • 2
  • Matthias S. Möller
    • 3
  • Charles L. Redman
    • 3
  • Chris Mack
    • 4
  1. 1.Image Science & Analysis LaboratoryNASA Johnson Space CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.F & U ConsultUFZ-Helmholtz Centre for Environmental ResearchLeipzigGermany
  3. 3.Global Institute of SustainabilityArizona State UniversityTempeUSA
  4. 4.GIS DepartmentTown of Marana, MaranaUSA

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