Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2020, Vol. 11 ›› Issue (1): 87-99.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2020.01.009

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Satellite Image-based Monitoring of Urban Land Use Change and Assessing the Driving Factors in Pokhara and Bharatpur Metropolitan Cities, Gandaki Basin, Nepal

Raju RAI1,2,4, ZHANG Yili1,2,3,4,*, Basanta PAUDEL1,3,4, Narendra Raj KHANAL1,4, Bipin Kumar ACHARYA5   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3. Center for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences Beijing 100101, China;
    4. Kathmandu Center for Research and Education, Chinese Academy of Sciences-Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu 44613, Nepal;
    5. Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
  • Received:2019-10-08 Accepted:2019-12-05 Online:2020-01-30 Published:2020-01-30
  • Contact: ZHANG Yili, E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    The National Natural Science Foundation of China (41761144081); The Second Tibetan Plateau Scientific Expedition and Research (2019QZKK2203); The International Partnership Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (131C11KYSB20160061); The Chinese Academy of Sciences-The World Academy of Sciences (CAS-TWAS) President’s Fellowship Program for PhD Study.

Abstract: Urban growth is a key indicator of economic development. At the same time, haphazard urban growth creates serious socioeconomic, environmental and urban land management problems. In this context, understanding the process of urban landscape change is important for guiding the sustainable growth of urban areas. This study analyzes the urban land changes during 1990–2018 in two metropolitan cities of Gandaki basin: Pokhara and Bharatpur. Landsat satellite images were analyzed using supervised classification methods. The results re-vealed that the built-up area has increased significantly by 300% in Pokhara and by nearly 500% in the Bharatpur during the past 28 years. Population growth, migration from surrounding areas due to urban facilities and the easy lifestyle in cities were found to be major determinants of urban growth within the study area. In addition, the changing urban definition and expansion of municipal boundaries are key factors for rapid urban growth. Both cities are likely to grow in the future as they are both located in areas that encompass the high levels of commercial activity and modern service facilities. The haphazard urban growth should be minimized through planning and policies for sustainable urban development.

Key words: urban land change, driving factors, Pokhara, Bharatpur, Gandaki River Basin