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Utilization of Remote Sensing and GIS to Examine Urban Growth in the City of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Nadim A. Jamali 1 and Muhammad T. Rahman 2
1. National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK), Karachi, Pakistan
2. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

Abstract—This study examines the current land cover and their changes within the capital city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia over the past two decades and based on those changes, predict the spatial growth of the city for the year 2020. Specifically, the study first utilized maximum likelihood classification technique to classify Landsat data for the years 1990, 2000, and 2014. Based on the classified data and using Cellular Automata model, the study also simulated the spatial growth of the city in 2020. With an overall classification accuracy of 86%, 90%, and 92%, results show that the city grew at a very fast pace. In 1990, the city had an urban area of 603 km2, while in 2014, the urban area increased to 1720 km2 (an increase of over 185%). The CA growth model predicted that the urban area will increase to 2221 km2 in 2020 and grow in the south-western and north-eastern parts of the city. The paper concludes with some recommendations for sustainable urban growth of the city in the near future.

Index Terms—cellular automata model, GIS, land cover change, remote sensing, Riyadh

Cite: Nadim A. Jamali and Muhammad T. Rahman, "Utilization of Remote Sensing and GIS to Examine Urban Growth in the City of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia," Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 297-301, November, 2016. doi: 10.12720/jait.7.4.297-301