Trajectory of Urban Growth and Its Socioeconomic Impact on a Rapidly Emerging Megacity

Urbanization is the result of an inevitable process of transformation underway globally and has been a serious topic of interest among environmentalists and city planners. Rapid growth in population coupled with brisk economic development has resulted in drastic urbanization of Hyderabad, a city located in southern India, over the last couple of decades. Rapid urbanization has resulted in severe socioeconomic and environmental consequences, apart from causing serious impact on the city’s natural resources and quality of life of its people. The urban growth trajectory and its expansion and distribution in the city was quantitatively analyzed using remotely sensed images (Landsat) from the years 1989, 1999, 2009, and 2014, by observing the spatial pattern and temporal changes. The study is also based on primary data obtained through a door-to-door survey of the newly urbanized areas surrounding Hyderabad, apart from secondary data. The city was divided into four quadrants and 1-km radial segments to evaluate the spatial and temporal growth trends on a per kilometer per decade basis. The metropolitan area covers an area of 1,905  km2 of which 499  km2 is covered by urban built-up areas. The study puts forward certain indexes, which are indicators of urban sprawl and levels of urbanization of a particular region. The urban sprawl index (USI) for Hyderabad in the period 2011–2015 is 48.14, up from the value of 10.0 during the period 1991–2001. The socioeconomic impact of the growth of Hyderabad as a center of progress is analyzed. The rise in cost of living, house rents, pollution levels, and acute water problems has been observed. On the plus side is a better transport facility and a marginal increase in job opportunities. This study also examined how USI scores relate to socioeconomic factors in the community. It was found that, while some socioeconomic factors improved as USI scores rose, some declined. The present research demonstrates the fact that urban sprawl quantification and pattern analysis can provide a clear perspective of the urbanization process during a large time period.


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  • Accession Number: 01633816
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ASCE
  • Created Date: May 1 2017 9:36AM