Assessing urban development trends in representative Local Administrative Units before and after the Greek economic crisis
This study maps and quantifies urban development in four areas in Northern Greece for the last decade using remote sensing and urban sprawl indices. It aims to correlate the results with the effects of the Greek economic crisis on the construction activity. The remotely sensed data used are two multispectral cloudfree Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) images (from 2003 and 2009) and one Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) image from 2014. A supervised Support Vector Machine (SVM) classifier is applied to produce land cover maps. The maps’ accuracy is assessed using high resolution airborne and Google Earth imagery for the 2014, 2009 and 2003 images. The overall accuracy reached over 85%. The multi-temporal dataset is assessed to account for and register the impervious surface changes. The spatial characteristics and spatial imprint of built-up area through time are analysed by a system of urban sprawl indices. The appropriate relations and linkages with the temporal socio-economic developments in the area are presented and discussed.