Atlas of Urban Expansion

[tags big data, milano]

The Atlas of Urban Expansion, an open-source online resource with maps, satellite images, and data on spatial changes in cities around the world, has been revised and updated.

Massive urbanization, accompanied by the rapid expansion of cities and metropolitan regions and the sprawling growth of megacities the world over, is one of the most important transformations of our planet. Much of this explosive growth has been unplanned. Cities in developing countries have been unprepared for absorbing the many millions of the rural poor that are still crowding into informal settlements. These cities are set to double their urban population in the next thirty years, and triple the land area they occupy. From 1990 and 2015, the area occupied by cities in less developed countries increased by a factor of 3.5; if that rate continues, the total amount of land taken over by urban land use would be equivalent to the entire country of India.

The Atlas of Urban Expansion provides the geographic and quantitative dimensions of urban expansion and its key attributes in cities the world over. The empirical data and quantitative dimensions of past, present, and future urban expansion in cities around the world are critical for making minimal preparations for the massive urban growth expected in the coming decades.