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Assessment of urban environmental change using multi-source remote sensing time series (2000–2016): A comparative analysis in selected megacities in Eurasia

Lu, Linlin, Weng, Qihao, Guo, Huadong, Feng, Suyun, Li, Qingting
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.684 pp. 567-577
cities, developing countries, environmental degradation, environmental factors, environmental quality, normalized difference vegetation index, particulates, remote sensing, satellites, surface temperature, time series analysis, urban areas, urbanization, Bangladesh, China, Eurasia, India
Excessive urban growth has led to an urban environmental degradation in megacities in less developed countries. Using fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration, land surface temperature (LST), and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data obtained by satellite remote sensing, we analysed the inter-annual variations and trends in the urban environment of 17 megacities in Eurasia from 2000 to 2016. Taking the average environmental condition for all the megacities in 2000 as the baseline, the urban environmental conditions were evaluated by a Comprehensive Environmental Index (CEI) from 2001 to 2016. The variation and trends analysis of CEI revealed that the overall environmental conditions in Chennai, Dhaka, Kolkata and Tianjin showed significant deterioration trends. Environmental qualities in newly developed urban areas experienced degradation in Bangalore, Beijing, and Mumbai. The area of environmentally deteriorated urban land has been expanding in Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Mumbai in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh since 2001. By contrast, the area of environmentally degraded urban land in Chinese megacities expanded to the largest extent in the period of 2007–2009 and decreased afterwards. The result suggests that greening and strong emission control strategies significantly contributed to urban environmental quality enhancement in rapidly developing megacities.