Trends and Spatial Patterns of Urbanization in Asia and Africa: A Comparative Analysis

  • Ronald C. Estoque
  • Yuji Murayama
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


This chapter examines and compares the temporal and spatial patterns of urban land changes (ULCs), i.e., changes from non-built-up to built-up lands, in 15 major cities (metropolitan areas) in the developing Asia and Africa (Asia: Beijing, Manila, Jakarta, Hanoi, Bangkok, Yangon, Dhaka, Kathmandu, and Tehran; Africa: Dakar, Bamako, Nairobi, Lilongwe, Harare, and Johannesburg) based on remote sensing-derived urban land use/land cover (LULC) maps (c. 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2014) and GIS-simulated LULC maps (2020 and 2030). We used the land change intensity analysis technique to examine how the extent and rate of ULCs vary across time intervals. For the analysis of the spatial patterns of ULCs, we used spatial metrics. Between 1990 and 2014, Beijing, Bangkok, and Johannesburg had the highest gain of built-up in terms of area, whereas Bamako, Dhaka, and Lilongwe had the highest percentage increase. Five of the top seven cities in terms of total gain of built-up came from Asia, while four of the top seven cities in terms of total percentage came from Africa. Although some cities across Asia and Africa showed either stable or fluctuating intensities of ULCs, most of the cities had intensifying ULCs. During the same period, majority of the cities have become more fragmented. However, the simulated future urban LULC maps (2020 and 2030) indicated that their fragmented or diffused patches of built-up lands would eventually coalesce and result in more aggregated urban landscapes. In bigger cities such as Beijing, Manila, Bangkok, and Jakarta, ULCs are already occurring and moving away from the city center, whereas in smaller cities such as Bamako, Kathmandu, and Lilongwe, ULCs are still largely concentrated in closer proximities to the city center. We hypothesize that the bigger cities might have already undergone through the alternating process of diffusion–coalescence many times, whereas the smaller cities are still in the early stages of this cyclic process.


City Center Patch Density Land Change Uniform Intensity Urban Patch 
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 Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Life and Environmental SciencesUniversity of TsukubaTsukuba CityJapan

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