Advanced search

Spatio-Temporal Analysis Of Urban Expansion And Future Growth Patterns Of Lahore, Pakistan

Full Text:


Lahore, a metropolis and 2nd largest city of Pakistan, has been experiencing rapid urban expansion over the past five decades. The socio-economic development and growth of the urban population have caused the rapid increase of urban expansion. The increase in the built-up area of Lahore has seen remarkable growth during the past five decades. This study is aimed at detecting the Spatio-temporal changes in land use land cover and evaluating the urban expansion of Lahore since 1973. The conversion of land to other uses is primarily because of growth in urban population, whereas the increase in economic activities is the central reason for the land-use changes. In this study, temporal Landsat imageries were integrated with demographic data in the GIS environment to quantify the spatial and temporal dynamics of land use land cover (LULC) changes and urban expansion of Lahore city. The supervised image classification of maximum likelihood algorithm was applied on Landsat MSS (1973 and 1980), TM (1990), ETM+ (2000), TM (2010), and OLI/TIRs (2020) images, whereas a postclassification comparison technique was employed to detect changes over time. The spatial and temporal analysis revealed that during the past five decades, the built-up area of Lahore city has expanded by ~ 532 km2. It was found from the analysis that in Lahore city the urban expansion was primarily at the cost of loss of fertile agricultural land, vegetation, and other cultivable land use. The analysis further revealed that the structure and growth pattern of Lahore has mainly followed road network and linear expansion. The results indicate that this accretive urban expansion is attributed to socio-economic, demography, conversion of farmland, rural-urban migration, proximity to transportation routes, and commercial factors. This study envisions for decision-makers and urban planners to devise effective spatial urban planning strategies and check the growth trend of Lahore city.

About the Authors

Muhammad Nasar-u-Minallah
College Gojra

Department of Geography, Govt. Postgraduate.


Sahar Zia
Lahore College for Women University

Department of Geography.


Atta-ur Rahman
Department of Geography

University of Peshawar

Omer Riaz
University of Sargodha

Department of Earth Sciences.



1. Agarwal C., Green G.M., Grove J.M., Evans T.P. and Schweik C.M. (2002). A review and assessment of land-use change models: dynamics of space, time, and human choice. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-297. Newton Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, 61, DOI: 10.2737/NE-GTR-297

2. Ahmad S., Avtar R., Sethi M., Surjan A. (2016). Delhi's land cover change in post transit era. Cities, 50, 111-118.

3. Alboody A., Sedes F. and Inglada J. (2008). Post-classification and spatial reasoning: new approach to change detection for updating GIS database. In 3rd International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies. From Theory to Applications (ICTTA), 1-7, DOI: 10.1109/ICTTA.2008.4530039

4. Almas A.S., Rahim C., Butt M. and Shah T.I. (2005). Metropolitan Growth Monitoring and Land use Classification using Geospatial Techniques. Proceedings of International Workshop on Service and Application of Spatial Data Infrastructure, Hangzhou, China.

5. Anderson J.R., Hardy E.E., Roach J.T. and Witmer R.E. (1976). A land-use and land-cover classification system for use with remote sensor data. US Geological Survey Professional Paper 964, Washington, DC.

6. Anwar M.M. and Bhalli M.N. (2012). Urban population growth monitoring and land use classification by using GIS and remote sensing techniques: a case study of Faisalabad city. Asian Journal of Social Science and Humanity, 1(1), 5-13.

7. Arif G.M., and Hamid (2007). Life in the City: Pakistan in Focus. UNFPA, Islamabad, Pakistan.

8. Bagan H., and Yamagata Y. (2014). Land-cover change analysis in 50 global cities by using a combination of Landsat data and analysis of grid cells. Environ Res Lett, 9(6), 64015.

9. Batisani N.,Yarnal B. (2009). Urban expansion in centre county, Pennsylvania: spatial dynamics and landscape transformations. Applied Geography, 29(2), 235-249.

10. Benza M., Weeks J.R., Stow D. A., Lopez-Carr D., and Clarke K.C. (2016). A pattern-based definition of urban con-text using remote sensing and GIS. Remote Sensing of Environment, 183, 250-264, DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2016.06.011.

11. Bhatta B. (2009). Analysis of urban growth pattern using remote sensing and GIS: a case study of Kolkata, India. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 30(18), 4733-4746.

12. Bhatta B. (2010). Analysis of Urban Growth and Sprawl from Remote Sensing Data. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg.

13. Bhatti S.S., Tripathi N.K., Nitivattananon V., Rana I.A., and Mozumder C. (2015). A multi-scale modeling approach for simulating urbanization in a metropolitan region. Habitat International, 50, 354-365, DOI: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2015.09.005.

14. Bhalli M.N. and Ghaffar A. (2015). Use of geospatial techniques in monitoring urban expansion and land use change analysis: a case of Lahore, Pakistan. Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 11,265-273.

15. Bren d' Amour C., Reitsma F., Baiocchi G., Barthel S., GGneralpg B., Erbh K., Haberl H., Creutzig F. and Seto K.C. (2017). Future urban land expansion and implications for global croplands. PNAS, 114 (34), 8939-8944, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1606036114.

16. Chen J. (2007). Rapid urbanization in China: A real challenge to soil protection and food security. Catena, 69(1), 1-15.

17. Chen L. Wang X. Cai X. Yang C. Lu X. (2021). Seasonal Variations of Daytime Land Surface Temperature and Their Underlying Drivers over Wuhan, China. Remote Sensing, 13, 302-323, DOI: 10.3390/rs13020323.

18. Congalton R.G. (1991). A review of assessing the accuracy of classifications of remotely sensed data. Remote Sensing Environment, 37(1), 35-46.

19. Deng J.S., Wang K., Hong Y and Qi J.G. (2009). Spatio-temporal dynamics and evolution of land use change and landscape pattern in response to rapid urbanization. Landscape and Urban Planning, 92(3-4), 187-198.

20. Dewan A.M. and Yamaguchi Y (2008). Using remote sensing and GIS to detect and monitor land use and land cover change in Dhaka Metropolitan of Bangladesh during 1960-2005. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, DOI: 10.1007/s/10661-008-0226-5.

21. Epstein H.E., Paruelo J.M., Pineiro G., Burke I.C., Lauenroth W.K., Barrett J.E. (2006). Interactions of water and nitrogen on primary productivity across spatial and temporal scales in grassland and shrub land ecosystems. In Dryland Ecohydrology, 201-216. Springer, Dordrecht.

22. Estoque R.C., and Murayama Y (2013). Landscape pattern and ecosystem service value changes: Implications for environmental sustainability planning for the rapidly urbanizing summer capital of the Philippines. Landscape and Urban Planning, 116, 60-72.

23. García-Nieto A.P., Geijzendorffer I.R., Baró F., Roche P.K., Bondeau A., and Cramer W. (2018). Impacts of urbanization around Mediterranean cities: Changes in ecosystem service supply. Ecological Indicators, 91, 589-606, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.03.082.

24. Ghaffar A. (2006). Assessing urban sprawl in Lahore by using RS/GIS techniques. Pakistan Geographical Review, 61(2), 99102.

25. GoP (1981). District Census Report of Lahore 1981. Population Census Organization, Statistics Division Islamabad: Govt. of Pakistan. Retrieved from

26. GoP (2000). District Census Report of Lahore 1998. Population Census Organization, Statistics Division Islamabad: Govt. of Pakistan. Retrieved from

27. GoP (2015). Pakistan economic survey 2014-2015. Islamabad: Finance Division Islamabad, Pakistan.

28. GoP (2015a). Punjab Development statistics 2015. Bureau of Statistics Lahore. Government of Punjab. Pakistan.

29. GoP (2017). Provisional Summary Results of 6th Population and Housing Census 2017. Population Census Organization, Statistics Division Islamabad: Govt. of Pakistan. Retrieved from

30. Ifatimehin O.O. (2008). Remote sensing and GIS applications in urban expansion and loss of vegetation cover in Kaduna town, northern Nigeria. American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture, 2(2), 117-124.

31. Jat M.K., Garg P.K. and Khare D. (2008). Assessment of urban growth patterns using spatial analysis techniques. In: Proceedings of Indo-Australian Conference on Information Technology in Civil Engineering (IAC-ITCE), 70, 20-21.

32. Jensen J.R. (1996). Introductory digital image processing: a remote sensing perspective: Prentice-Hall Inc.

33. Jensen J.R. (2009). Remote Sensing of the Environment: An Earth Resource Perspective 2/e: Pearson Education India.

34. Kaza N. (2013). The changing urban landscape of the continental United States. Landscape and Urban Planning, 110, 7486, DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.10.015.

35. Kim H., Kim YK., Song S.K. and Lee H.W. (2016). Impact of future urban growth on regional climate changes in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, Korea. Science of the Total Environment, 571,355-363, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.05.046.

36. Kirillov PL., Makhrova A.G., Nefedova T.G. (2019). Current Trends in Moscow Settlement Pattern Development: A Multiscale Approach. Geography, environment, sustainability, 12(4), 6-23, DOI: 10.24057/2071-9388-2019-69.

37. Kugelman M. (2013). Urbanization in Pakistan: causes and consequences.1-7. Retrieved from

38. LDA. and NESPAK. (2004). LDA Integrated Master Plan Lahore 2021. Govt. of Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

39. Lillesand T.M., Kiefer R.W., Chipman J.W. (2004). Remote sensing and image interpretation. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

40. Li H.; Wei Y.H.D. Huang Z. (2014). Urban land expansion and spatial dynamics in Globalizing Shanghai. Sustainability, 6, 8856-8875.

41. Li G., Sun S., and Fang C. (2018). The varying driving forces of urban expansion in China: Insights from a spatial-temporal analysis. Landscape and Urban Planning, 174, 63-77, DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2018.03.004

42. Liu J., Zhan J., Deng X. (2005). Spatiotemporal Patterns and Driving Forces of Urban Land Expansion in China during the Economic Reform Era. AMBIO. Journal Human Environment, 34, 450-455.

43. Liu R., Zhang K., Zhang Z., Borthwick A.G. (2014). Land-use suitability analysis for urban development in Beijing. Journal of Environment Management, 145, 170-179.

44. Lo C.P and Yang X. (2002). Drivers of land-use/land-cover changes and dynamics modelling for Atlanta. Georgia Metropolitan Area. Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 68(10), 1073-1082.

45. Mundia C.N. and Aniya M. (2006). Dynamics of land use/cover changes and degradation of Nairobi city, Kenya. Land Degradation and Development, 17(1), 97-108.

46. Mundia C.N. and Aniya M. (2007). Analysis of land use/cover changes and urban expansion of Nairobi city using remote sensing and GIS, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26, 13, 2831-2849, DOI: 10.1080/01431160500117865.

47. Muñoz-Villers L.E. and López-Blanco J. (2008). Land use/cover changes using Landsat TM/ETM images in a tropical and biodiverse mountainous area of central-eastern Mexico. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 29(1), 71-93.

48. Nasar-u-Minallahm M. (2020). Exploring the Relationship between Land Surface Temperature and Land use change in Lahore using Landsat Data. Pakistan Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research Series A: Physical Sciences, 63A(3), 188-200.

49. Nasar-u-Minallah M. and Ghaffar A. (2020). Temporal Variations in Minimum, Maximum and Mean Temperature Trends of Lahore-Pakistan during 1950-2018. Proceedings of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences: A. Physical and Computational Sciences, 57(2), 21-33.

50. Quasem Md. A. (2011). Conversion of Agricultural Land to Non-agricultural Uses in Bangladesh: Extent and Determinants, Bangladesh Development Studies, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), 34(1), 59-86.

51. Rana I.A., Bhatti S.S. and Arshad H.S.H. (2017). Assessing the socio-economic and infrastructure development disparity—a case study of city districts of Punjab, Pakistan. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 0(0), 1-13.

52. Rana I.A. and Bhatti S.S. (2018). Lahore, Pakistan-Urbanization challenges and opportunities. Cities, 72(2018), 348-355.

53. Seto K.C., Woodcock C.E. Song C., Huang X., Lu J. and Kauf-mann R.K. (2002). Monitoring land use change in the Pearl River Delta using Landsat TM. International Journal of Remote Sensing 23(10), 1985-2004.

54. Seto K.C. and Kaufmann R.K. (2003). Modeling the drivers of urban land-use change in the Pearl River Delta, China: integrating remote sensing with socioeconomic data. Land Econ, 79(1), 106-121.

55. Seto K.C. Fragkias M. GGneralp B. and Reilly M.K. A meta-analysis of global urban land expansion. PLoS ONE 2011,6, e23777.

56. Shirazi S.A. and Kazmi S.J.H. (2014). Analysis of Population Growth and Urban Development in Lahore-Pakistan using Geospatial Techniques: Suggesting some future Options. Journal of South Asian Studies, 29(1), 269-280.

57. Simwanda M. and Murayama Y (2018). Spatiotemporal patterns of urban land use change in the rapidly growing city of Lusa-ka, Zambia: Implications for sustainable urban development. Sustainable Cities and Society, 39, 262-274, DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2018.01.039.

58. Son N.T., Chen, C.F. Chen C.R., Thanh B.X. and Vuong T.H. (2017). Assessment of urbanization and urban heat islands in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam using Landsat data. Sustainable Cities and Society, 30, 150-161, DOI: 10.1016/j.scs.2017.01.009.

59. Song W., Deng X. (2015). Effects of urbanization-induced cultivated land loss on ecosystem services in the North China plain. Energies, 8, 5678-5693.

60. Sudhira H.S., Ramachandra T.V. and Jagadish K.S. (2004). Urban sprawl: metrics, dynamics and modeling using GIS. Intentional Journal of Applied Earth Observation Geo-information, 5(1), 29-39.

61. Taubenbock H., Wegmann M., Roth A., Mehl H. and Dech S. (2009). Urbanization in India Spatio-temporal analysis using remote sensing data. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 33,179-188.

62. United Nations. (2018).World Urbanization Prospects: the 2018 Revision. Retrieved from

63. Vasenev V.I., Yaroslavtsev A.M., Vasenev I.I., Demina S.A., Dovltetyarova E.A. (2019). Land-Use Change in New Moscow: First Outcomes after Five Years of Urbanization. Geography, Environment, Sustainability, 12(4), 24-34, DOI: 10.24057/2071-9388-2019-89.

64. Weng Q.A. (2001). Remote sensing? GIS evaluation of urban expansion and its impact on surface temperature in the Zhujiang Delta, China. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 22(10), 1999-2014.

65. Weng Q. (2002). Land use change analysis in the Zhujiang Delta of China using satellite remote sensing, GIS and stochastic modelling. Journal Environment Management, 64(3), 273-284.

66. Wilson E.H., Hurd J.D., Civco D.L., Prisloe M.P and Arnold C. (2003). Development of a geospatial model to quantify, describe and map urban growth. Remote Sensing Environment, 86(3), 275-285.

67. Wu Q., Li H.Q., Wang R.S., Paulussen J., He H., Wang M., Wang B.H. and Wang, Z. (2006). Monitoring and predicting land use change in Beijing using remote sensing and GIS. Landscape and Urban Planning, 78, 322-333.

68. Xiao J., Shen Y., Ge J., Tateishi R., Tang C., Liang Y. and Huang Z. (2006). Evaluating urban expansion and land use change in Shijiazhuang, China, by using GIS and remote sensing. Landscape Urban Planning, 75(1-2), 69-80.

69. Yang Y., Liu Y, Li Y, and Du G. (2018). Quantifying Spatio-temporal patterns of urban expansion in Beijing during 1985-2013 with rural-urban development transformation. Land Use Policy, 74, 220-230, DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.07.004.

70. Yuan F., Sawaya K.E., Loeffelholz B.C. and Bauer M.E. (2005). Land cover classification and change analysis of the Twin Cities (Minnesota) Metropolitan Area by multi-temporal Landsat remote sensing. Remote sensing of Environment, 98, 317-328.

71. Zang Z., Zou X., Zuo P, Song Q., Wang C. and Wang J. (2017). Impact of landscape patterns on ecological vulnerability and ecosystem service values: An empirical analysis of Yancheng Nature Reserve in China. Ecological Indicators, 72, 142-152, DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.08.019.

For citation:

Nasar-u-Minallah M., Zia S., Rahman A., Riaz O. Spatio-Temporal Analysis Of Urban Expansion And Future Growth Patterns Of Lahore, Pakistan. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2021;14(3):41-53.

Views: 310

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1565 (Online)