ANALYSIS OF BUCHAREST URBAN DEVELOPMENT BASED ON MULTITEMPORAL SATELLITE-DERIVED DATASETS AND STATISTICAL DATA
Keywords: World Settlement Footprint (WSF) Evolution, urban growth, urban extension, Bucharest, satellite imagery, satellite-derived data, statistical data
Abstract. Almost worldwide, urban expansion has been increasing at a rapid pace in the last decades. Although metropolitan areas strongly contribute to economic growth, they are also usually characterized by uncoordinated urban development that consequently causes overburdened infrastructure and higher air pollution. Bucharest (the capital of Romania) and the surrounding Ilfov County underwent a significant expansion during different growth stages, roughly tripling their population since 1930.
The present study analyzes the evolution of the urban spatial expansion of Bucharest and Ilfov between 1985 and 2015, using the World Settlement Footprint Evolution dataset created by the German Aerospace Center. The research integrates data provided by the National Institute of Statistics in relation to the resident population, population density, the average monthly net income and the gross domestic product. The results reveal that Bucharest - Ilfov development region had an impressive expansion during the investigated time interval in comparison with the other Romanian regions. In 30 years, the built-up area corresponding to Bucharest and the Ilfov County doubled, 2007 being the most prolific for the development of new built-up areas. In what concerns Bucharest city, the most noteworthy urban expansion occurred in District 1. Several urban growth hotspots were also identified and analyzed in detail (e.g., North of the capital).