ASSESSMENT OF URBAN ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY: A CASE STUDY OF CASABLANCA, MOROCCO
Keywords: Urban Environmental quality, Remote sensing, GIS, Principal components analysis, Casablanca
Abstract. By 2050, Most of the world’s population will live in cities, this demographic explosion will lead to significant urban development at the expanse of natural land which may harm the environmental quality. Consequently, assessing and modeling the urban environmental quality (UEQ) is requisite for efficient urban sprawl control and better city planning and management. The present study proposes a methodology to model and assess the environment of the urban system by developing the urban environmental quality index (UEQI) based on remote sensing data. Five environmental indicators were derived from the Landsat OLI image namely, Modified Normalized Difference Impervious Surface Index (MNDISI), Modified Normalized Difference, Water Index (MNDWI), Normalized difference vegetation Index (NDVI), Normalized difference built-up Index (NDBI) and Soil adjusted vegetation index (SAVI). Using the Principal Component Analysis (PCA) the urban environmental quality index was computed for the 17 communes of Casablanca city. The UEQI values were spatially mapped under three classes (good, moderate, and poor). The results obtained from the analysis showed a significant difference in the term of UEQI values among the communes. In addition, the environmental quality is inadequate in communes with fewer green spaces and more impervious surfaces. The outcomes of this work can serve as an efficient tool to determine the most critical interventions to be made by the authority for current and future urban planning and land/resource management.