V.I. Kravtsova, E.V. Rodionova

Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography, Moscow, Russia



Rapid processes of suburban settlements growth around Moscow, which have been increased in the beginning of 1990’s due to private activity development and liquidation of limits for individual building construction, have lead to strong changes of land use structure. We have undertaken some steps for investigation of urbanization dynamics in Podmoskovye (Near Moscow area) and compiled the map of settlements dynamics by comparison of Landsat-5 1991 and Landsat-7 2001 images. Settlements are seen at space pictures due to specific structure of image. Automatic classification methods are not favorable for settlements mapping and we used visual interpretation of screen images with vectorization of settlements boundaries. Various color compositions were used  for better settlements identification. The work in screen image scale of 1:40 000 and accuracy of boundaries drawing 1 mm ensure final mapping in scale of 1:200 000. The comparison with ASTER/Terra image for the same data at test site has shown good correspondence between this image and interpretation results. Classification ISODATA was used for division of forested and not-forested lands (meadows, agricultural fields) for not-builded areas.

Results of images interpretation and processing have been shown at two maps of builded areas in 1991 and 2001 (in scale of 1:500 000) and the map of builded areas dynamics for 1991-2001 (in scale of 1:200 000).  Accounting of builded areas has shown  that their share has growth from 12% to 19%. The map shows the main pattern of builded area distribution and its changes: radial-beam structure of builded areas; merging of large settlements, concentrated along main transport lines (density of builded areas along railways reaches 30-60%, along highways up to 20-30%); increasing of quantity and size of small settlements in between-radial spaces (where 9% density of settlements is characteristic); concentration of new settlements along main roads and near water bodies and rivers, especially along small rivers Desna, Neznaika. A series of special maps (buffer zones, connection of built areas with ecological network, introducing of built areas into forests)  has been compiled for quantative analysis of settlements distribution patterns.

The work was supported by Programme of Leading Scientific Schools, Grant 8306.2006.5