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Combined Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques for Studying the Large Roman Urban System Expansion during the Last Twenty Years

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DOI: 10.4236/ars.2015.41005    4,023 Downloads   5,001 Views   Citations


Several factors may contribute to on-going challenges for spatial planning and policy in megacities such as Rome, including rapid population shifts, poorly organized areas, and lack of data through which monitoring urban growth and land use change. This research was conducted to examine past and current effects of the urbanization process, occurred over the large Roman urban system, on the basis of multi-source and multi-temporal optical remote sensing (RS) data, collected between 1990 and 2013. These changes were then validated via Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques, in a particular procedure applied to urban land/agricultural transformations. The proposed approach, based on geo-statistical methods, was used to calculate the index of innovative space (AP Index), useful for the monitoring of the urban sprawl phenomenon. Strong evidence of urban expansion over the north-eastern quarter of the city, accompanied by environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity, is provided. Urban infill developments are expected to emerge in the south-eastern areas too, and these might increase urban pressure as well. In conclusion, RS and GIS technologies together with ancillary data can be used to assist decision makers in preparing future plans to find out appropriate solutions to urbanization encroachment.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Loret, E. , Martino, L. , Fea, M. and Sarti, F. (2015) Combined Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques for Studying the Large Roman Urban System Expansion during the Last Twenty Years. Advances in Remote Sensing, 4, 48-62. doi: 10.4236/ars.2015.41005.


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