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Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban
Growth Characteristics
Reflections on Master Plan and Urban
Suitability from a Sprawling North
Indian City

Environment and Urbanization Asia
3(2) 277–301
© 2012 National Institute
of Urban Affairs (NIUA)
SAGE Publications
Los Angeles, London,
New Delhi, Singapore,
Washington DC
DOI: 10.1177/0975425312473226

Venkatesh Dutta
The importance of urban transition is recognized in the literature, but largely underexplored in developing world cities. There are no actual relationships between projections and discussions of spatial growth
with urban and regional reality. This paper attempts to fill this gap by assessing the spatio-temporal
patterns of land use dynamics in urban and peri-urban areas of Lucknow, which is the capital city of
India’s largest State, Uttar Pradesh. It also evaluates to what extent the Master Plan 2021 deviates from
the actual reality. The finding shows that patterns of urban growth do not follow Master Plan and even
Master Plan deviates profoundly from the preferred land suitability. The multi-temporal land use change
statistics reveal two major land transformation trends between 1997 and 2010:

Intensification of urbanization in the central core areas where a few remaining open areas and
water bodies were occupied and landfilled to accommodate residential developments.
(ii) Urban expansion in peri-urban/suburban areas through edge expansion and envelopment,
where the extension of urban core increased at the cost of permanent crops and pastures.
The results indicate that substantial Class I agricultural land was lost due to urban growth during
1997—2010, with an average annual rate of 13 per cent. Around 77 per cent of the available land in the
peri-urban areas has weak or very weak suitability for future urban development primarily because of
the high conservation and agriculture suitability and incompatibility of physical land use to enable infrastructure. The case is similar to any other developing city and transition country of the global south and
may provide useful policy lessons.
Urban planning, urban suitability, peri-urban interface, land transformation

A rapid urbanization process with a simultaneous significant development in economy and industrialization has augmented considerable urban expansion in India in the last few decades. According to the 2011
Census, urbanization in India has increased faster than expected. For the first time since independence, the


Venkatesh Dutta

absolute increase in the urban population was higher than that in the rural population with 31.16 per cent
of its population or 377 million people now living in cities, an increase from 27.81 per cent in 2001
(Census of India, 2011). There has been a rapid increase in number of million plus cities in India. Currently
there are 53 million plus cities containing 43 per cent of urban population. This has huge implications for
providing infrastructure and other civic amenities in urban areas (Ahluwalia, 2011; Bhagat, 2011; Kundu,
2011). The fast pace of residential and commercial development is replacing agriculture and other undeveloped land around them. The problems of urban sprawl, loss of open vegetation and a general decline
in environmental quality can be generally attributed to increasing population concentrating more people
on less land even as the total land devoted to urbanization expands (Martinez et al., 2008; Nijman, 2008;
UN-HABITAT, 2006; United Nations, 2009).
Many environment-development problem of a city is rooted in the way land use planning is made and
governed as outlined in the Master Plan. Land becomes the medium of ‘enabling environment’ for infrastructure provisions in growing cities, and urban planning emerges out of series of crises and social
responses to them. The uncontrolled urbanization pushes too hard in the direction of ‘bigger cities’ with
inadequate enabling infrastructure. Consistent with the operation of a free market economy, people’s and
market responses to economic opportunities are mediated by private and public land owners which in
turn drive land cover changes, often in an unscientific manner ignoring the long-term environmental and
aesthetic impacts (Brueckne, 2000; Lambin et al., 2001). This can create externalities as land development agencies in the past have often neglected enabling resources and overall carrying capacity of a
region in developing master plans for future growth.
The present study has been carried out with reference to a rapidly growing city—Lucknow, which is
the capital city of India’s biggest and fastest growing State—Uttar Pradesh. It examines patterns of
recent urban expansion and attempts to study how land use restrictions and modifications that respect
land suitability can affect the future shape and character of the city in terms of enabling infrastructure
and carrying capacity. Historical land use patterns, together with current trends, and several parameters
such as groundwater, floodplains, forest cover, wastelands etc are used to define the land suitability. The
primary focus of the modelling effort is to account for physical controls on land use and see how current
trends of urbanization are in conflict with the land suitability and intended zoning as prescribed in the
Master Plan.
The paper is divided into six sections. The first section gives general introduction and significance of
the present study. Section two below provides a brief review of the literature and section three presents
general characteristics of the study area. Study approach is outlined in section four with brief introduction to the models employed. Section five discusses specific findings of the study. Finally, conclusion
and policy implications of the study are discussed in section six.

Review of the Literature
Understanding the process of land use transformation in the urban core and along the rural-urban boundary
is very important to guide the urban growth for future habitation (Shi et al., 2012). Understanding of urban
growth and landscape characterization through historical and current land uses provides the necessary
information to evaluate environmental impacts of land use change, to delineate urban growth boundaries or
municipal service areas, to develop land use zoning plans, and to determine future infrastructure requirements (Kennedy, 2007). There are a number of environmental, socio-economic, political and historical
Environment and Urbanization Asia, 3, 2 (2012): 277–301

and transportation improvements—are responsible for this spatial growth (Mieszkowski and Mills. development appears artificially cheap from the developer’s point of view. these extreme peripheries of urban areas suffer from a lack of definition. The first arises during the process of urbanization. 1993). from where the intact natural resources of rural landscapes are sourced into the growing city. As is popularly understood.. and distinguish effect from cause (Nagendra et al. These transformations cause this area to experience high spatial uncertainty resulting in undesirable. which leads to excessive commuting and congestion. Urban sprawl is increasingly viewed as a significant and growing problem that entails a wide range of social and environmental costs (Bengston et al. rural areas being dominated by agriculture. marked by interaction of rural and urban forces. economic and functional (Brook and Davila. Narain and Nischal. there is a need for protecting common property resources that are diverted to other activities and purposes (Narain. but rather as a diffuse territory identified by combinations of features and phenomena. complicated land use land cover (LULC) patterns. followed by extending urban areas engulfing the interface in route. Brueckner (2000) describes three types of market failures. 2007). etc. but encourages excessive urban growth making infrastructure to function below standards. 2009. Dupont. PUI can be perceived as the space between these two categories (urban and rural). 2011). 2004). PUI is often described not as a discrete area. these areas are expanding rapidly and an increasing number of people are occupying them (Kayser. rural and urban are two broad land use categories. 2000. It is increasingly being accepted that PUI of sprawling cities experiences significant land transformation. urban areas being primarily occupied by residential. 1990. Due to rapid urban growth..Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics 279 factors that impact land use and land cover. The resources and energy required for the rapid expansion is actively supplied by peri-urban areas at the cost of its natural/semi-natural land Environment and Urbanization Asia. which may lead to excessive spatial growth of cities. resulting in exchange of their individual resources. Given the complex nature of the feedback loops between pattern and process. commercial. Yet. Economists believe that three underlying forces—population growth. 3. Peri-urban boundary is forever shifting. 1998). 2005). manufacturing units and other user services. 2 (2012): 277–301 . 2001). McGregor et al. rising household incomes. The natural increase. it is difficult to separate correlation from causality. generated by activities within the urban zone (Nottingham and Liverpool Universities. in most regions of the world. city periphery is subjected to multiple transformations: physical. As the PUI emerges and tries to develop rapidly. The second type of market failure arises due to failure on the part of urban dwellers to recognize the social costs of congestion created by their use of the transportation network. They provide little basis for a unified understanding of urban sprawl (Iaquinta and Drescher. PUI along rural-urban boundary forms a dynamic semi-natural ecosystem. horticulture. 2004). morphological.. due to expansion of the urban core contained within their boundaries. the third market failure arises from the failure of public and private real estate developers to take into account all of the public infrastructure costs generated by their development projects. Peri-urban interface (PUI) is the transitional zone between a sprawling city periphery and its rural surroundings. cultural. The context of such urban growth is situational and case specific. whereas. Thus. Lying between city and villages immediately adjoining the urban area. These factors further interact dynamically resulting in diverse sequences and trajectories of landscape changes depending upon the specific context in which they arise. transforming the PUI in return. socio-demographic. An assessment of the relative contributions of various factors that causes unregulated spatial expansion is very important to understand the dynamics of urban population growth (Bhagat. 2004). dairy. net rural-urban classification and rural-to-urban migration are some of the important components of urban growth. Finally. when economic agents fail to take into account the social value of open space and greenbelt.

Narain. isolated population centre in early 1990s to large. congestion of transport networks. All these elements tend to draw a city away from the model of sustainable development.17 per cent to India’s total GDP between 2004 and 2009. Understanding the complex dynamics of the peri-urban environment is often difficult at the spatial and temporal scales. physical. The application of remote sensing and GIS for urban studies has been valued greatly in various studies (Haack et al. however. much less manage and restore the ecosystems in peri-urban areas. the increasing segregation and specialization of land use. 2005. urban and regional planners in developing countries have not been able to analyze consistently. 2011).5 million and a geographical area of about 2525 sq.. Accurate and timely information on the status and trends of peri-urban ecosystem has been attracting increasing attention recently (Díaz-Caravantes et al. Jensen and Cowen. such as its compactness and diversity (Camagni et al.. km. since the ecological.. which under this pressure gets disintegrated. Lucknow is the capital city of Uttar Pradesh with a population of 4. 2011). 2011. as it is very useful for collecting data on suburban attributes with their spatial and temporal extents (Donnay et al. The population growth projected in the Master Plan 2021 varies between 3. the current top-down policies for land acquisition by the land authorities in developing cities do not consider social equity and environmental integrity (Narain and Nischal. (Figure 1).51 to 4. The city has seen a steady increase in population arising from natural growth. 2011. for sustainability of urban and rural development. economic and social functions performed by and in the peri-urban interface affect both city and the countryside (Allen. 2009. 2003). The temporal and spatial dimensions of the land use changes that shaped urbanization are little known. 2001. There exists a widely shared belief that the extensive building on the peri-urban interface not only consumes precious land resources. 1999).. It is the second largest state-economy in India contributing 8. out of which the city occupies about 300 sq.. Torres et al. With increased availability and improved quality of multi-spatial and multi-temporal remote sensing data as well as new analytical techniques. km. Xu et al. 2007)....6 million (Census of India. and environmental features. 1997. Remote sensing. and undermine certain traditional features.. Taubenböck et al. 2003. Herold et al. the state of Uttar Pradesh is the largest sovereign national jurisdiction (state) in the world.. The potential importance of this area is reflected in the growing emphasis on identifying new urban remote sensing applications for policy and management (Miller and Small. but is largely responsible for the high costs of infrastructure and energy. 2010.. Unfortunately. 2007). Managing the environment of this interface has significant implications. due to the lack of basic knowledge and timely information of the urbanization process and its long-term ecological impacts. 3. Wu et al. 2003. it is now possible to monitor and analyze urban expansion and land use change in a timely and cost-effective manner (Alberti. 2009). having a population of 199. About the Study Area Among its vastly populated world of towns and cities.280 Venkatesh Dutta cover. provides ways to make indirect measurements as proxies for many of these quantities (Miller and Small. and also degradation of the environment. necessary to understand the processes controlling them. somewhat higher than for average growth rate of cities of similar size in the country and state (Table 1). 2007. Yin et al. Sarvestani et al. incorporation of peri-urban areas in 1980s and largescale migration. 2002). Huang et al. Lucknow has changed from small. 2 (2012): 277–301 . interconnected urban complex today having diverse economic. Moreover. Environment and Urbanization Asia. 2003)..37 per cent per year over different five-year periods until 2021. 2009).

89 3.13 857 3. Table 1.26 10.65 4. Per cent Growth/Year in thousand % Growth/Year 1901 44. survey of India toposheets and census data.36 10.00 1.34 3.99 1. km.539 2021* 414.21 10.32 5.200 4.814 1973 80.239 2011 303. Urban Sprawl and Population Growth in Lucknow Starting 1901 Area Population Year Sq.63 3.50 7. Note: *Projected in the Master Plan 2021.012 3.26 3.29 1.06 10.723 10.500 4. 256 – 5.540 1992 159.03 – Density/sq. Environment and Urbanization Asia. Study Area—Lucknow City and Peri-urban Areas Showing Transitional Peri-urban Rim which Gets Engulfed in Urban Core as Urbanization Proceeds Source: Author’s own. 3. 2 (2012): 277–301 . km.281 Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics Figure 1.861 Source: Compiled from various historical maps.50 8.819 1997 196.224 2.45 2.712 1988 143.19 10.

. Automated techniques are usually based on pattern recognition which provides areas with similar spectral and textural pattern (Haack et al.000 scale. Hyderabad (NRSC). Land capability and urban suitability analysis is performed from a landscape perspective with suitability criteria and weighted factors using Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) method (Drobne and Lisec. Malczewski. (ii) Year 2002 satellite data was replaced by interpreted land use land cover map from UP Remote Sensing Application Centre’s (UPRSAC) NRIS database. Land use ground reconnaissance was carried out to develop a general understanding of land use situation in the month of March and June 2010. The peri-urban sites of interest in present study were located at distances ranging from 14 km to 17 km from the centre of urban core in different directions.282 Venkatesh Dutta As any other fast growing developing Indian city.. 1997. The rapidly growing urban population in the city and high rate of migration spills into the peri-urban and rural areas surrounding the city boundaries. The methodology is briefly described below: Land Use Land Cover Mapping and Land Transformation Analysis The temporal land use land cover maps for four periods viz. the region is fast converting into a mosaic of interspersed rural-urban landscape with depleting natural land covers and increasing paved surfaces of urban land use (Figure 2). (iii) Year 2009 and 2010 satellite data was used online from Google Earth image (GeoEye satellite) and interpreted using Google Earth KML features. Classification of urban land use has been attempted using both traditional and advanced automatic techniques in the literature. land suitability and resource constraints. 2002). 3. Land use conflict analysis is carried out to explore disagreements between urban suitability and Master Plan 2021. 2002 and 2009/10 were prepared using satellite data from following sources: (i) Year 1997 Satellite data (PAN Sharpened IRS-1C. Mapping for temporal land use land cover was done using visual interpretation at 1: 25. Peplies. The database was reclassified to include relevant classes into aggregated level and to remove insignificant classes. leading to multifold increase in employment opportunities but a rapid degradation of basic natural resources like land and water (Dutta et al. it was procured from National Data Centre. 1992. Lucknow faces an uncontrolled urban sprawl. Land use change detection comparison was performed on multitemporal land use land cover maps using the classic post-classification change detection algorithm.. 1974. 2 (2012): 277–301 . 2010). 2009. Methodology This paper integrates multi-criteria decision making approach represented by the fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) and GIS (Geographical Information Systems). Environment and Urbanization Asia. The main consideration for including a location in the PUI was presence of abundant cropland in competition for land from nonagricultural uses outside the demarcated urban territory of land development authority. Once dominated by agriculture. The city apparently represents a typical urbanization process taking place throughout India as it has witnessed swift urbanization in recent years. Zhan et al. Satellite pictures from past (1997 and 2002) and present (2010) are used for evaluating urban growth in terms of carrying capacity. 2000). LISS III): Required for land use land cover map. 1997.

2 (2012): 277–301 .283 Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics LUCKNOW URBAN SPRAWL MAP 1972 – 1992 LEGEND Growth of Build up Area I UPTO – 1972 II 1972 – 1982 III 1982 – 1988 IV 1988 – 1992 Figure 2. Environment and Urbanization Asia. Extent of Urban Sprawl in Lucknow from 1972 to 1992 (Drawn from Older Maps and Topsheets) Source: Author’s own. 3.

2005). The Transformation Classes Prior to integration of temporal land use maps derived from visual interpretation. The area falling under each major category of LULC was calculated for different time periods and simultaneously. 1989) to detect bi-temporal land use change (Bauer et al. Rural. Transitional and Urban to facilitate an expansive representation of natural resources degradation. Temporal mapping of LULC was followed by post-classification method of change detection. Scrubland. vector land-use maps of peri-urban sites were prepared using standard GIS software: ArcGIS 9 and IGIS. 2 (2012): 277–301 Loss . Singh. Horticulture Plantations. 1983.. Urban-Vegetated Urban Rural-Built-up. Mas.284 Venkatesh Dutta Based on the information which could be obtained from satellite images. Environment and Urbanization Asia. with transitional class containing degraded natural land use modifying into urban (Figure 3). Area Under Construction Critical Loss (Recoverable) Gain Figure 3. Abandoned fallow Transitional Wasteland. Four Major Land Use/Land Cover Transformation Classes Source: Author’s own. 1999. After the identification and delineation. using comparison of two independent land cover classifications (Jensen. Natural Dense Forest. the change in land use area statistics over the study period (1992–2010) was derived and recorded. delineated and classified using a classification scheme adapted from the National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS) project (NNRMS. 2005). Open Forest. Urban-Built-up. Water bodies Rural Agriculture. the mapped land use classes were aggregated into intermediate classes of Natural. 3. major LULC categories were identified.

for example. City Development Maps. The class Gain indicates natural resources restoration. The technique involves multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) using Weighted Linear Combination (WLC) method on relevant spatial layers of the area. Slum locations.g. Ancillary Data Collection Ancillary data was collected from various sources and converted into separate thematic layers: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) Base maps of study area. land capability analysis was used as an elimination tool for restricting the usage of class I agriculturally capable land for urban development depending on inherent characteristics. which represents the natural and rural land cover converted into transitional land cover classes. canal network. landscape parameter. Digital Elevation Model of the study area was downloaded from SRTM website and topographically analyzed to produce relevant layers. which retains its recoverable quality despite of its urbanization and can contribute to sustainable city on being restored. railway map. For each spatial layer involved in the analysis. denote the significance of the individual land use change to the status of natural resources degradation and sustainable development of the landscape. A number of relevant soil and landscape criteria were identified through a review of the literature and their weights specified as a result of discussions with the experts. In the present study. for example. Urban Planning Department) and converted into referenced GIS thematic layers as shown in Figure 4 to be used for overlay procedures. Water Supply Sources. road map. Most of such conversion has been of water bodies on the city fringes into other manmade categories.. soil. Sewer Trunk line locations etc. forest) have degraded over time and are under threat of being permanently converted into urban land use. for example—district map. groundwater and Environment and Urbanization Asia. 3. natural depression of the lakes being used for agriculture and other land uses can be dredged to convert it back into lakes. Special emphasis is on detecting the Critical category. Loss denotes degradation due to change of non-urban to urban land uses. Geomorphology and soil texture layers were obtained from NIC (UP). drainage map were obtained from NIC (Uttar Pradesh). a set of relative weights for influential factors are developed.Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics 285 Gain. Groundwater quality and quantity data from the regional office of the Central Groundwater Board (CGWB) located at Lucknow. on the verge of being modified to urban land use. Master Plan 2021. Loss-Recoverable class represents the currently modified non-urban land cover. were obtained from several sources (Lucknow Development Authority. Loss-recoverable and Critical. UP Jal Nigam. cropland. 2 (2012): 277–301 . This class can be recovered. Land Capability and Urban Suitability Analysis Land uses are grouped into designated number of classes according to their potentialities and limitations. Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) have been used for obtaining weights which reflects the relative importance of various factors from matrix of paired comparisons. These land cover (e. after being marked unproductive by commons. For the present study. for example—forest regeneration on the fringes of protected forests or conversion of abandoned fallow/scrublands into croplands. Loss.

Conflict Analysis Conflict analysis explores the disagreements between derived urban suitability and city Master Plan 2021. The urban suitability maps (using AHP and FAHP) are overlaid with city Master Plan 2021 using summary function. 3. The conserved/restricted area map when overlaid on digital layer of Master Plan 2021 of the Lucknow city highlighted various conflicts between planned future development and Environment and Urbanization Asia. B: Flood Plain for Major and Minor Drainage. The suitability assessment for urban development focuses on identification of land suitable for future urbanization. 2 (2012): 277–301 .286 Venkatesh Dutta Figure 4. irrigation. which produces cross-tabulation statistics that compare class value areas between two thematic layers. D: Soil. Different Criteria for Urban Suitability Used as Thematic Layers for Overlaying—A: Water Bodies and Drainage. in such a way that it does not adversely impact the environment and the impacts from land use change are minimum. C: Geomorphology. E: Groundwater Table and F: Green Belts Source: Author’s own.

Key Findings of the Research Spatio-temporal Patterns of Land Transformations Pattern of urban growth in Lucknow city as explored by the study is not linear or nodal. wasteland shows moderate decrease and area under construction shows significant increase. urban built-up shows major increase. As is revealed from the statistics. all other land use classes exhibit relatively insignificant change. A large chunk of urban middle class prefer cheap housing in the suburbs even when there is not enough transportation infrastructure. NW and S) is occurring through ‘Edge expansion and Envelopment’. in this case the Master Plan 2021 layer.). Statistics for each of these categories is calculated on the basis of the occurrences of classes from the ‘class’ layer. Urban suitability maps are used as zone layers. where the extension of urban core increased at the cost of permanent crops and pastures. there are four classes displaying significant land transformation. peri-urban locations look increasingly investment attractive. the lack of reliable transport infrastructure has not inhibited the development and nor is the direction of development controlled by presence of transport routes as observed in earlier studies (Taragi. Some areas have developed out of older city core. Agricultural cropland shows major decrease. 2005). (ii) Urban expansion in peri-urban/ suburban areas. Peri-urban areas are currently experiencing the most active urbanization. Urbanization seems to spread radially in all the directions and influence of transport infrastructure is minimal. but others developed out of new industrial zones. that is. two major land use/cover trends between 1997 and 2010 can be discerned: (i) Intensification of urbanization in central/core areas where a few remaining open areas and water bodies were occupied and landfilled to accommodate residential developments. Attainment seems Environment and Urbanization Asia. annexation of surrounding landscape through the growth of existing urban areas (Seto and Fragkias. ● Urban growth in North Eastern site is occurring through ‘Attainment’—occupation of small built-up clusters (mostly rural) dispersed in landscape by extending urban areas. 1997).Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics 287 restriction preferences recommended in the study. 2 (2012): 277–301 . Many people buy land in such areas from investment point of view as they know that land prices would go up substantially once the area is earmarked for housing in the future. In the latter case. In the study area. As a result. Drivers of such changes are many and very site specific. Potential zoning conflicts included planned residential areas and supporting infrastructures (transport network. Results indicated that the prominent urban growth in such areas follows two main physical processes: ● Urban growth in three peripheral sites (N. 3. greenbelt and open spaces. which leads to spatial growth of the city. with individual suitability classes acting as analysis categories. agricultural areas etc. Since the study area is primarily dominated by agricultural land. urban growth through ‘edge expansion and envelopment’ is happening mostly at the expense of such cultivable lands.

Rural settlements located amidst predominantly agrarian areas are urbanized when major roads pass through them and the urban development along these routes intensifies to engulf them. The major land use transformations class is—Rural to Urban being 41. the outcome has increasingly tipped in favor of urban use. Furthermore.84 per cent to the LULC change and are placed in the transformation category of Critical. mostly observed in the study as conversion of wastelands into croplands.35 3.84 Urban 9.14 0.45 Natural 1.36 12.29 3. with an average annual rate being 13 per cent.24 Urban 1. specifically the rural to transitional and natural to transitional which together contribute a fair 16. Along with the economic development and ensuing urbanization.42 Source: Author’s estimation. Accessibility to the far-flung townships and villages have led to development of hitherto underdeveloped areas on fringes of the city. Table 2.16 Urban 14.07 Transitional 0 0 Natural 0.90 Rural 0.91 per cent of the total change (Table 2).47 27.43 4.46 4. Also important is the observation of a small but significant amount of change (7. although at much smaller percentage than required (Figure 5). leading to substantial spatial growth in peri-urban areas.29 0. This Critical category is generally the result of land cover degradation and is prevalent in peri-urban areas on brink of being urbanized. 2 (2012): 277–301 . 3.288 Venkatesh Dutta to be the direct result of improvement in accessibility due to the development of transport infrastructure. Land Transformation from 1997 to 2010 at Four Peri-urban Sites Showing Transformation Classes Change (2002–2010) ‘From’ Class Natural Rural Transitional Urban ‘To’ Class Area % Rural 0.22 0. Of importance to the study are other categories.02 0. which confirms that above reconversion is possible and takes place naturally also. multi-temporal land use change statistics showed that substantial Class I agricultural land was lost by urban growth during 1997–2010.91 Transitional 4.64 per cent) from transitional to natural and transitional to rural. which welcome the conversion of rural land for upcoming industries and educational institutions requiring vast unutilized land resources and spelling major financial gain to marginal farmers. Environment and Urbanization Asia. Although the allocation of land is governed by competition between urban and agricultural uses.74 Rural 1. an impetus on improvement of major transport routes is obvious.63 Transitional 1.46 41.64 Natural 0.

Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics 289 Figure 5. 2 (2012): 277–301 . Spatial Occurrence of Land Use Transformations in the Peri-urban Areas Source: Author’s own. 3. Environment and Urbanization Asia.

75 per cent of Loss-recoverable category accounts for change of lakes into cropland and horticulture. North Eastern area exhibits the change of maximum amount of cropland into 20 18 16 Area % 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 17. Growth Rate of Urban Land Use in Peri-urban Areas between 1997 and 2010 Source: Author’s own.5 per cent being observed for Northern site and lowest of 10 per cent for Southern site (Figure 6). These open forests are soon converted into urban-vegetated class which is vegetation interspersed with urban built-up.16 10.92 12. making it a fragile area as well. Also.53 11. Only the Critical class holds some hope especially for Northern and North Eastern sites where more than 20 per cent of the total land use is in Critical stage. Also. there has been practically negligible amount of Gain and an insignificant amount of Lossrecoverable. 2 (2012): 277–301 . feared to be quickly engulfed by densification of the city.04 per cent) conversion of forest into urban vegetated wherein open forest patches on city fringes degrade rapidly as expanding settlement approaches them. Environment and Urbanization Asia.290 Venkatesh Dutta Detailed results from the study reveal that urban land use for all four sites has increased over the study period (year 1997 to 2010) with the largest growth of 17. wherein water bodies have been landfilled and are being used for agriculture or plantations. 3. On an average. Loss of water bodies in Southern site is also alarming. observed is an insignificant for now (0.10 North Northeast Northwest South Figure 6. more than 70 per cent of the total land use /land cover change has been towards the transformation category of Loss towards urban land use.

reveals that at Northern site. waiting for urban development opportunities and in the event of selling their land towards urban development. 3. out of which conversion from cropland is maximum (63 per cent). spelling serious environmental deterioration. indicating a reduction in rate of future urbanization and pointing towards occurrence of a probable land speculation prevalent in recent past which may have spurred the observed urbanization. Capacity of existing environmental infrastructure in the area for sewage. as it was anticipated that this area would experience least urban growth due to its location along state highways. Due to peri-urban land takeover by urban development agency.51 per cent) Environment and Urbanization Asia. falling on Lucknow-Kanpur route.59 per cent) and cropland (8. For the city to grow spatially. displays a marked decrease in wasteland (5.Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics 291 transitional category. which falls along the Lucknow-Barabanki national highway. wherein the latter seems to have merged with extending urban land use. as opposed to location of other sites along national highways and absence of adjacent major industrial town as opposed to North east (adjacent to Barabanki) and South (adjacent to Kanpur).72 per cent). Southern site. with a simultaneous decrease in rural built-up (4. indicative of a trend where farmers leave their cultivable land fallow. For these farmers. 2 (2012): 277–301 . indicating the conversion from these classes to urban land use. This observation is alarming. In this process productive agricultural land is often converted into urban land use. The area is intensely industrialized.08 per cent). 2003). followed by a substantial 28 per cent being formed by conversion of forest to urban-vegetated. Site-specific observation of Critical land transformation category.18 per cent).15 per cent). It is observed that site along the Northwestern direction (enroute to suburban Malihabad town) has experienced maximum amount of relative increase in urban built-up (17. Surprisingly. thus reflecting greater economic benefits in its developed state.25 per cent) is observed to be maximum in North-eastern site. the uncertainty of when exactly the land might be taken over by urban structures is too great to make it worthwhile continuing with serious. which directs resources to their highest and best use’. industrial and solid waste management is inadequate. mainly farmers and other agricultural users.71 per cent). The site also shows a significant decrease in cropland (9. The area also shows a significant amount of area under long fallow (3. this site displays minimum area under construction (3. According to Brueckner (2000).02 per cent) and fair decrease in cropland. This explains the widespread abandoned fallow or unutilized land found around many expanding cities (Van den Berg et al. since presence of forest on a city periphery is already rare and it is being lost to urban land use means extensive loss of natural habitation with severe threat to the remaining areas of core natural forest. with a simultaneous increase in area under construction (7. Increased demand for housing and commercial space means that land is worth more in urban use than in agriculture. intensive agricultural production. a significant increase in urban built-up (11. gain compensation used to develop farmlands further from city. Decrease in cropland area (18. competition for land between real estate developers and non-urban users.68 per cent) and wasteland (2. Critical category is being formed by conversion of four rural land use classes. making this site fragile.82 per cent). public and private developers bid away additional land from agricultural users in the peri-urban areas. land conversion in such situations is guided by the ‘economist’s “invisible hand”.04 per cent) amongst the study sites. As the value of agriculture output is fully reflected in the amount that agricultural users are willing to pay for the land. The site displays maximum amount of area under construction (7. This finding is unexpected. have increased tremendously in the last decade. with increasing number of unplanned factories/industries.. a successful bid by public and private developers means that society values the houses and other structures built on the land more than the agriculture output that is forgone.

50 sq. A careful observation of initial (1997) and final (2009) images of the site. 500 sq km has moderate suitability whereas about 2 per cent ( i. the spatial expansion due to rising incomes and quality of life concerns among the residents is strengthened by a price incentive favoring urbanization along the city’s periphery. Majority of the area (around 77 per cent) in the peri-urban interface has weak or very weak suitability for future urban development primarily because of the high conservation and agricultural suitability and incompatibility of physical land use to enabling infrastructure (Figures 7 and 8). reveals that most of the defined wastelands are being used for real-estate development.17 per cent) which is understandably due to urbanization (Figure 4). people’s rising incomes and quality of life concerns affect urban growth because residents demand better housing conditions and more living space as they become richer over time. The transformation class of area under construction (5. In addition. Northern test site displays significant decrease in most rural land use classes. Therefore. The greater demand for space causes the city to expand spatially as the population increases. any future urban land transformation should be done very carefully taking into account the zoning regulations and importance of open Environment and Urbanization Asia. Land Use Conflicts Patterns of urban growth do not follow Master Plan 2021 and even Master Plan deviate profoundly from the preferred land suitability. owing to the fact that this area was marked by the presence of numerous big and small water bodies in the past. Southern site alone shows a decrease in water bodies. 2 (2012): 277–301 .e. high value class I agriculture land and horticulture fields constitute 57 per cent and 15 per cent of the area respectively. some residential areas have also encroached upon lakes and ponds and new residential areas lack open space and greenbelts.21 per cent) also shows significant increase indicating a continuous urbanization in future. which have been transformed to agricultural uses or land filled for real estate development.. 3. and so on. converting them to urban land use will affect future food sustainability. parking lots. km. bicycle lanes.292 Venkatesh Dutta indicating an increased rate of future urbanization. that is. Therefore. mainly the peri-urban areas. Existing infrastructure has not been integrated in the design of the layout. This effect is further reinforced by the ‘urban-social-aspirations’ to expand and buy additional lands for their housing needs in a location where land price is cheap. Wasteland (2. about 303 sq. As per the land use statistics of 2010. km.) of the area has high suitability for urban development.07 per cent) and Open Forest (1. Around 20 per cent of the area. has already been under active urban land use including the denser urban core. Cropland (12. it must grow spatially to accommodate more people. As the city’s population expands. Since out of the 2500 sq.28 per cent) with a simultaneous increase in urban built-up (9. Land Capability and Urban Suitability Poorly regulated land governance has led to unscientific urban expansions that do not conform well to the land suitability and carrying capacity of the city.50 per cent). for example: there is absence of logistic zones. km. sidewalks. Industrial areas are being built upon environmentally sensitive areas..

greenbelt. space. Environment and Urbanization Asia. 4. Of the total area of the conserved. 3. 2 (2012): 277–301 .Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics 293 Figure 7.18 per cent of the area has been converted into existing built-up/settlements whereas 46. reserved forests and floodplain as per the defined land suitability class. greenbelt and Class I agriculture land. Agricultural Suitability Based Upon Weighted Linear Combination of Multiple Criteria Source: Author’s own.36 per cent of the total area is proposed under residential settlements. the restricted/conserved areas recommended by the study are certainly in conflict with the planned future development. It is also evident from the conflict analysis that the Master Plan 2021 is conflicting from the zoning restrictions recommended by the urban suitability analysis.

with the process of urban sprawl in the core and at the peri-urban interface.91 20 15 10 5 1.41 30 25 20. business districts and commercial land use under the Master Plan 2021. Environment and Urbanization Asia.11 per cent under agriculture (Figure 9).30 Area % 35 30 25 22.82 45 40 Area % 35 31.84 per cent under transportation network and 5.31 20 15 10 5 1.37 0 Very Weak Suitability Weak Suitability Suitable High Suitability Urban Suitability Figure 8. 11. conserved area such as greenbelt. and (b) Fuzzy AHP Method Source: Author’s own. 2 (2012): 277–301 . 3. Therefore. Area Statistics for Urban Suitability Using (a) Traditional AHP Method.294 Venkatesh Dutta 50 45. reserved forests and floodplains are threatened and will be rendered fragile.86 0 Very Weak Suitability Weak Suitability Suitable High Suitability Urban Suitability 50 45 43.03 40 33.

Conclusions and Policy Implications Urban transition is a major challenge in growing cities of the developing world. strategies are often inconsistent with city’s spatial structure.24 agri roads plantation 4. each independent of the other. also result in fragmented development across commercial and residential areas at the micro level. Land agencies (LDA: Lucknow Development Authority and UPHDB: Uttar Pradesh Housing Development Board) do not coordinate regarding subdivision regulations creating fragmented discontinuous urban areas (Figures 10 and 11). 2 (2012): 277–301 . 3.36 Figure 9. Urbanization in the Indian context should be looked at beyond mega-cities like Mumbai and Delhi with a holistic view to include second-tier towns and medium size agglomerations such as Lucknow. Multiple jurisdictions with multiple plans by the land authorities.295 Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics Conserved areas conflict statistics 5. which has not been studied in detail. They are not followed by local area plans and investment decisions.28 6.11 11. Disorderly urban sprawl creates war on cities’ dream to become engines of growth and threatens the future growth and vibrancy of cities’ economy. This paper quantitatively explores the spatiotemporal patterns of land use/land cover transformations in the core and along the city periphery of Environment and Urbanization Asia. Peri-urban land conversion is guided by the market’s invisible hand and ‘agglomeration economies’ which directs resources to their highest market price ignoring the longterm environmental impacts. Master Plans concentrate on planning land use in isolation from other critical infrastructure and resource constraints such as water and sewerage facilities and transport network. Urban renewable schemes such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM) and Rajiv Avas Yojna (RAY) are implemented as isolated projects removed from the regional policies. Conserved Areas Conflict Statistics with Respect to the Master Plan 2021 Source: Author’s own. land use plans and their growth dynamics.84 26.18 residential existing builtup others 46.

and forest lands. urban and regional planners and researchers working in developing countries to understand the dynamics of urban growth. New Housing Schemes as Planned by Avas-Vikas (Uttar Pradesh Housing Development Board) under Their Master Plan 2021 Source: Author’s own. Development has been muddled in peri-urban areas. Conflict analysis is carried out to explore disagreements between urban suitability. Lucknow city. 3. the capital of India’s largest state. and (or) transportation. housing and other critical infrastructure systems.296 Venkatesh Dutta Figure 10. the city has expanded in size and structure. Natural land covers like forest and water bodies are experiencing major deterioration rendering some of the PUI sites as fragile. It is observed that due to rapid economic development. The land developers tend to be disconnected from the realities of resource limitations and largely inattentive to the long-term impacts of land use modifications. agricultural. in addition to observing nature and form of urban expansion resulting in a complicated urban landscape. becoming increasingly more complex. The methodology provides a cost effective rapid land evaluation framework which may help policy makers. Fuzzy AHP and sub-models. 2 (2012): 277–301 . enabling infrastructure and Master plan 2021 proposed by the land authorities using satellite imageries. Each of these impacts is linked to changes in the extent of urban. heterogeneous and irregular in shape. causing natural and rural land cover to degrade over time and the trend suggests more such degradation in coming years. This Environment and Urbanization Asia.

Results from urban growth models can be used by land use planners and policy makers to anticipate and plan for future spatial expansion to ensure growth along the lines of city development plans and enabling infrastructure. unplanned and unfocussed urbanization.Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics 297 Figure 11. Detailed observations of transformation category statistics reveal that although the pace of urbanization will grow up in the future. It is also suggested that older urban areas with dense horizontal urbanization can be considered for urban redevelopment using vertical urbanization methods. which allow land use to be channelled towards more sustainable outcomes. a remedy for this problem lies in strict zoning regulations based on land suitability and carrying capacity. Environment and Urbanization Asia. process will continue with time if not checked through proper intervention and strict planning measures and can adversely impact the quality of life of urban and peri-urban dwellers. Map Showing the Proposed Lucknow City’s Master Plan 2021 Source: Author’s own. a significant amount of recoverable land cover presently under transformation (denoted by Critical class) can be restored and the focus of development can be shifted to underutilized areas within the city development boundary. not considering the suitability of land cover or its environmental impacts/aesthetics should be discouraged in order to promote healthy and livable cities. 2 (2012): 277–301 . 3. Primarily. Although urban sprawl cannot be stopped in a rapidly developing city.

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