Hepcan, S.; Coskun Hepcan, C.; Kilicaslan, C.; Ozkan, M.B., and Kocan, N. 2013. Analyzing landscape change and urban sprawl in a Mediterranean coastal landscape: a case study from Izmir, Turkey.
The aim of this study was to analyze and interpret landscape change and urban sprawl in a coastal landscape of Turkey, in the province of Izmir, by remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems technologies with data spanning a 42-year period (1963–2005). Landscape change was analyzed from CORONA and ASTER images taken in 1963 and 2005, respectively. A postclassification algorithm for change detection was applied using ERDAS software. The results revealed significant changes in land cover and urban fabric during the period from 1963 to 2005. The built-up area increased from 8.18% to 28.88%, primarily at the expense of agricultural land. Agricultural land declined from 13.65% to 5.19% of the total area and was mostly isolated on the peripheries of the study area, which had a very patchy and scattered configuration. The urban fabric evolved on a linear path from a rural, low-density settlement character to an urban, high-density development. The compact urban form in 1963 transformed into urban sprawl by 2005, primarily along the area's transportation network and the coastline around Izmir Bay, Turkey. To minimize further urban sprawl and to maintain natural habitats, an ecologically sustainable growth strategy is required. For this purpose, landscape planning with special emphasis on developing spatially connected landscapes would be useful because the current urban master-planning process lacks a sustainable ecological vision.