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Investigating Land Use Change in Kabul, Afghanistan

* Corresponding author
1 Murray State University, Faculty of Earth and  Environment Science, Kentucky, USA
2 University of Tehran, Faculty of Geography,  Department of Human Geography, Tehran, IRAN
Pages: 61-69

Abstract. Land use change and land cover are considered as some of the important and effective factors of global environmental change. Therefore, understanding and predicting the causes, processes, and consequences of land use change has become a major global challenge. Kabul is the most populated city in Afghanistan. The face of Kabul has changed after a relatively peaceful period since 2001. The purpose of this study is to analyze land use change in Kabul from 2001 to 2019. We used the quantitative approach to analyse data provided by satellite images of Kabul in 2001 and 2019 from Landsat 8 and 7. Data was processed in ERDAS IMAGINE and Arc Map software to results in the final output. Urban land cover was classified into four classes, namely built-up area, green area, empty space, and mountain, and land cover changes were detected. The results of the image comparison between 2001 and 2019 show that the aggregated built-up area and empty space land cover increased by 69.1749 sq km and, correspondingly, 45.2538 sq km, whereas the green area decreased by 113.4216 sq km. We concluded that land cover has changed improperly. The rate of urban green space per individual is currently very low. These results indicate that the city is in a critical urban situation and the government should provide a comprehensive plan for controlling urban growth and fixing the problems caused by improper land use change in the city.

K e y w o r d s: urbanization, land use, environment, informal settlement, LULC, remote sensing, Kabul