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Land Use Land Cover Change and Urban Growth in Khoms District, Libya, 1976−2015

Land Use Land Cover Change and Urban Growth in Khoms District, Libya, 1976−2015
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Author(s): Omar S. Belhaj (University of Texas, El Paso, USA) and Stanley T. Mubako (University of Texas, El Paso, USA)
Copyright: 2020
Volume: 11
Issue: 2
Pages: 17
Source title: International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research (IJAGR)
Editor(s)-in-Chief: Donald Patrick Albert (Sam Houston State University, USA) and Samuel Adu-Prah (Sam Houston State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAGR.2020040103

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Abstract

Rapid and unplanned urbanization presents a formidable challenge to sustainable urban growth in most developing countries. This study applies Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing tools to quantify land use and land cover change in the coastal, economically important district of Khoms, Libya. The study revealed a 16% per year long-term historic urban growth rate, leading to an urbanization increase of 658% from just 800 ha in 1976 to 6,067 ha in 2015 over the 40-year analysis period. Qualitative evaluation of satellite images showed devastating impacts on both terrestrial and marine ecosystems through broad scale clearing of forests and other native areas for agriculture and urban development, and through reclamation of the Mediterranean Sea during the construction of a naval base and port at Khoms City. An integrated approach that explores of a range of innovative approaches to address sustainable development issues faced by Khoms District and other similar fast growing but environmentally fragile developing country locations is recommended.

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