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Tracking the relationship between changing skyline and population growth of an Indian megacity using earth observation technology

Sanyal, Joy, Roychowdhury, Koel
Geocarto international 2017 v.32 no.12 pp. 1421-1435
cities, households, metropolitan areas, models, photogrammetry, population growth, urban population
Temporal analysis of Landsat-TM imageries reveals a saturated state of Kolkata (Calcutta) Metropolitan Area. However, the city has witnessed accelerated growth in real estate construction in recent past. This study applies digital photogrammetry to quantify the changes in Kolkata’s skyline. Recently, released SRTM DEM of 1 Arc Second and a digital surface model derived from WorldView-1 stereo images were used to account for the past and recent surface heights, respectively. Consequently, this paper examines whether the sustained addition in housing capacity has been necessarily driven by a growth in the urban population/number of households. Results show that 40.31% of the area experienced vertical growth, majorly by replacing older dwellings with taller apartment blocks. Further analysis reveals that part of these newly added residences has remained unoccupied as they were purchased by non-resident Indians for using as a second home or was never sold due to recent economic slowdown.