• Review Paper
  • Published: 22 August 2020

A systematic review of urban sprawl studies in India: a geospatial data perspective

  • Varinder Saini   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8887-6941 1 &
  • Reet Kamal Tiwari 1  

Arabian Journal of Geosciences volume  13 , Article number:  840 ( 2020 ) Cite this article

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This paper reviews articles published in the English language and using geospatial data in analysing the state of urban sprawl in India. India is not far behind in the unparalleled global phenomenon of urbanization, with it adding the highest number of urban dwellers by 2050. We review a total of 153 articles involving the use of remote sensing data for studying urban sprawl in India since it was first reported in the 1980s to the present. We find an exponentially increasing trend of urban sprawl studies since the year 2010 attributing to 72% of the total publications. This review helped in finding preferences as regards the most frequently studied city, platforms/sensors used, journals and the most active group carrying out urban sprawl studies. We then group the studies decade wise and report the major findings. Earlier studies mainly focused on the post-classification comparison of multi-temporal data. With the advancement of geospatial technology along with the ease of availability of satellite data, there has been a significant spurge in the number and quality of urban sprawl studies in the recent decades and involves advanced methods like spatial metrics, artificial neural network, object-based classification, and different kinds of modelling for future prediction of sprawl. Our findings suggest that sprawl research has evolved significantly over the years. With the availability of a large number of studies and copious amounts of data, the governmental agencies and large organizations should actively formulate a national-level database and incorporate these studies in various urban planning decisions.

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The authors are thankful to anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments, insights and suggestions which have really improved the manuscript.

The first author received financial assistantship in the form of National Post-Doctoral Fellowship [Grant No.: PDF/2017/002647] from Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB), Govt. of India.

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Saini, V., Tiwari, R.K. A systematic review of urban sprawl studies in India: a geospatial data perspective. Arab J Geosci 13 , 840 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-020-05843-4

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    Chetan Vaidya. Most most relevant SDG to urban planning is SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Role of urban planning in achieving this SDG is focus of this paper. It describes planning initiatives in urban missions. This is followed by specific discussion on monitoring the SDG with specific ...

  20. PDF Evolution of Town Planning Schemes In India: An Innovative ...

    The origin of urban planning in India can be traced to the planed towns of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa belonging to the Indus Valley Civilization as early as 2500BC. During the mogul period (1526-1800 AD) the growth of capital cities, building of forts, planned cities with central avenue was introduced.

  21. Studying the History of Urbanization in India

    Susan J. Lewandowski, "Urban Growth and Municipal Development in the Colonial City of Madras, 1860-1900," Journal of Asian Studies 34 (February 1975), 341-360. 8. Howard Spodek, Urban-Rural Integration in Regional Development: A Case Study of Saurashtra, India—1800-1960 (Chicago, 1976). 9.

  22. Urban Planning in India

    Find all the newest projects in the category Urban Planning in India. Top architecture projects recently published on ArchDaily. The most inspiring residential architecture, interior design ...


    For urban planning to play a crucial role in achieving SDG 11, the way forward can be in terms of: reforms needed in urban planning process; system to measure land-related SDG indicators; and capacity building and partnerships. Urban planning processes have to mainstrem sustainability, inclusiveness and resilient oriented processes.