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Analyzing Urban Sprawl in Rethymno, Greece

Triantakonstantis, Dimitrios, Prastacos, Poulicos, Tsoukala, Aikaterini
Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing 2014 v.42 no.3 pp. 601-610
coasts, cohesion, equations, issues and policy, models, people, population growth, qualitative analysis, regression analysis, remote sensing, roads, urban planning, urbanization, zoning, Crete, Greece
Analysis of urban sprawl is an issue that has been continuously attracting attention in the planning and research community. Τhis paper presents the results of an analysis of the growth of the city of Rethymno during the 1997–2010 time period. Rethymno is a city in the island of Crete in Greece with population of about 35,000 people, in which developed land has expanded at a rate that is double the growth of the population during the study period. A qualitative analysis was first performed to identify growth patterns in the different parts of the city, how these are related to planning regulations and the extent of cohesiveness of the development. A logistic regression model was estimated using various variables influencing the expansion of the built up area. Variables such as slope, distance from main roads, distance from the University, distance from coastline, as well as variables describing the proximity to other developed areas were used as independent variables in the logistic regressions. Planning constraints with respect zoning were also considered. The accuracy/goodness of fit of the simulation results were also tested using Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve. The results revealed high (performance) accuracy, which can support the applicability of the proposed method in urban sprawl modeling. Once the equations were estimated they were applied using data from 2010 to identify future trends of urbanization. The methodology adopted in this study can result in a tool that can be of use to urban planning authorities in identifying areas of future urban growth and therefore, adopt zoning policies encouraging or discouraging growth in these areas according to the sustainability objectives of the local community.