The Integration of Remote Sensing and GIS to Facilitate Sustainable Urban Environmental Management: The Case of Bangkok, Thailand
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Cities in developing countries are facing serious problems as a result of rapid urban population growth. Not the least of these problems is the creation of environmental stresses at the rural-urban fringe of these cities as they increase in area and envelop fertile surrounding agricultural lands. Because of this rapid rate of growth, sustainable urban environmental management (SUEM) policies and practices are often difficult to develop and implement proactively. This thesis argues that rapid population growth and subsequent urban expansion occurs such that urban form and function are built around the transportation network. In this context, a basic requirement for the facilitation of SUEM is the ability to be able to detect and extract indicators of urban expansion, in particular the road network, from available satellite remote sensing (RS) data. Subsequently, the indictors of growth derived from RS imagery can be integrated into a multi-source GIS database with ground-based census data to facilitate potential environmental stress analysis. The extraction of useful data from RS imagery for GIS-based analysis of urban growth is achieved through an integrated conceptual and operational framework presented in the thesis. This framework allows for environmental stress analysis at the urban periphery that can assist with the design of policies to contain urban growth.