Land Use Development over Time

Globally, countries face a changing environment due to population growth, increase in agricultural production, increasing demand on natural resources, climate change and resultant degradation of the natural environment. One means of monitoring this changing scenario is through land-cover change mapping. Modern Earth Observation (EO) technologies, especially those EO datasets comprising a multi-year data archive, lend themselves to land-cover change studies. This project by SARChI for inclusive cities shall use a practical and cost-effective approach for monitoring land-cover change at a national scale over time using EO data. Figure 1 showing the vegetal cover in the city of Cape Town South Africa. The land-cover allocated to each cell in each year will represent the spatially dominant land-cover within that cell, as determined from the original land-cover datasets.

Figure 1: The vegetal cover in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.

The primary objectives of this project are to: determine the extent of transformed landscape change in the Seven Metropolitan areas of South Africa over a 30-year period between 1994 and 2024; analysed the spatial trend in land use change over the four generalized land-cover datasets (for 1994, 2004, 2014 and 2024); appraise the standardized land cover datasets which shall represent the four assessment years to be compared within a uniform national grid, based on 500 m x 500 m cells. Figure 2 shows the landsatt Imagery of South Africa indicating the various uses and spatial components of the cities in the country.

Figure 2: South African Land cover Classes

Various spatial modelling procedures shall be used to ensure compilation of comparable and standardised land-cover class allocations to each cell for each year, prior to any year-on-year change analyses. The clear target of this project shall be to understand the national level increase or transformation of land specifically associated with Urban, Cultivation, Plantation Forestry and Mining. This project shall be led by Dr. Sam Medayese an urban and infrastructure development expert in the SARChI Chair for Inclusive Cities Team.

Principal Investigators:

Professor H.H Magidimisha-CHIPUNGU

Professor Lovemore CHIPUNGU


Project Manager

Dr. Samuel Medayese