USGS - science for a changing world

The USGS Land Cover Institute (LCI)

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Urban Dynamics: Benefits and Uses

Why Are We Doing This Work ?

The rapid growth of urban and suburban areas has many environmental impacts and is a major issue in today's world. By better understanding the growth that has already occurred and the resultant impacts, we can better predict future growth and impacts. This results in better planning.

Work will provide a greater understanding of urban land use change.

  • Provides insight into the interactions between the physiographic and socio-economic variables which contribute to urban growth.

  • Provides a better understanding of the issues involved in temporal land cover characterization for urban areas.

  • Applied within the objective scientific framework of the USGS, yields credible and comprehensive insights into the character and impacts of land use change that can contribute to economic growth balanced with environmental protection.

  • Provides urban planners, policy and decision makers, earth scientists, and global change researchers with the information necessary to measure trends in urban sprawl, analyze patterns of water pollution and sedimentation, examine the impacts of development on ecosystems, and develop predictive modeling techniques to better forecast future areas of urban growth.

  • Provides the data necessary for understanding the linkages between land use change and the nutrient loads and sedimentation rates measured in dated sediment cores.

Work will provide other long-term benefits.

  • Establishes program that provides a spatial inventory and a geographic assessment of the land use changes occurring in the nation's largest metropolitan regions.

  • Establishes a methodology, based on advanced spatial analysis techniques, to accurately document and evaluate the land use changes resulting from the dynamics of urban and rural growth patterns.

  • Establishes more innovative partnerships and contracts with the private sector.

  • Capitalizes on the USGS investment in the national topographic map and remote sensing data archives.

  • Increases public awareness of USGS products, especially historical archives, and promote the use of USGS spatial data with current GIS tools.

  • Brings public and private groups together to start developing these integrated temporal datasets that are required to monitor, analyze and predict urban growth patterns and landscape change.

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Page Last Modified: November 2016