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Satellites and Suburbs: A High-resolution Model of Open-space Conversion

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  • Colin Vance

    ()

  • Rich Iovanna

Abstract

This study examines the determinants of urbanized area across a 10,000-mile square swath in central North Carolina, an area undergoing extensive conversion of forest and agricultural land.We model the temporal and spatial dimensions of these landscape changes using a database that links five satellite images spanning 1976–2001 to a suite of socioeconomic, ecological and GIScreated explanatory variables. By specifying the complementary log-log derivation of the proportional hazards model, we employ a methodology for modeling a continuous time process – the conversion of land to impervious surface – using discrete-time satellite data. Spatial effects are captured by several variables derived from the imagery that measure the landscape configuration surrounding a pixel. Empirical results confirm the significance of several determinants of urbanization identified elsewhere in the literature, including proximity to roads and population density, but also suggest that the parameterization of these variables is biased when the influence of landscape configuration is unaccounted for. We conclude that the inclusion of spatial pattern metrics significantly improves both the explanatory and predictive power of the estimated model of urbanization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung in its series RWI Discussion Papers with number 0050.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:dpaper:0050

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Keywords: Urbanization; hazard models; satellite imagery;

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  1. Pfaff, Alexander S. P., 1999. "What Drives Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?: Evidence from Satellite and Socioeconomic Data," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 26-43, January.
  2. Geoghegan, Jacqueline & Wainger, Lisa A. & Bockstael, Nancy E., 1997. "Spatial landscape indices in a hedonic framework: an ecological economics analysis using GIS," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 251-264, December.
  3. Nelson, Gerald & Hellerstein, Daniel, 1997. "Do roads cause deforestation? Using satellite images in econometric analysis of land use," MPRA Paper 25261, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Elena G. Irwin & Nancy E. Bockstael, 2001. "The Problem of Identifying Land Use Spillovers: Measuring the Effects of Open Space on Residential Property Values," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(3), pages 698-704.
  5. Capozza, Dennis R. & Helsley, Robert W., 1989. "The fundamentals of land prices and urban growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 295-306, November.
  6. H. Kelejian, Harry & Prucha, Ingmar R., 2001. "On the asymptotic distribution of the Moran I test statistic with applications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 104(2), pages 219-257, September.
  7. Sumeeta Srinivasan, 2005. "Linking land use and transportation in a rapidly urbanizing context: A study in Delhi, India," Transportation, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 87-104, January.
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