The spatiotemporal dynamics of urbanisation and local climate: A case study of Islamabad, Pakistan

Ayman Aslam, Irfan Ahmad Rana, Saad Saleem Bhatti

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20 Citations (Scopus)
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Rapid and unplanned urbanisation, together with climate change, are increasingly affecting the local climatic conditions of urban settlements. Spatiotemporal analysis using land use/land cover (LULC), land surface temperature (LST), and local climatic zone (LCZ) assessments have been helpful in understanding the urbanisation characteristics and morphology. Islamabad, the capital and the only planned city of Pakistan, has witnessed a consistent rise in local temperatures, increased built-up areas, and reduced vegetation cover during the past decades. This study explores the spatiotemporal dynamics of LULC, LST, and LCZ in Islamabad using satellite remote sensing data and spectral indices such as Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Normalized Difference Built-up Index (NDBI). The results indicate a whopping increase in a built-up area in the city (113% during 2013 and 2019). A positive correlation between LST and NDBI, whereas a negative correlation between LST and NDVI clearly indicates how urbanisation (and reduction in vegetation cover) are impacting the local temperatures. Assessment and analysis of LCZs helped to understand the variations and deviations of current LULC from the master plan. It was observed that compact low-rise urban development is the most prevalent. The outcomes of this study are expected to inform the urban planners, climatologists, and policymakers with the knowledge helpful for devising climate-resilient development policies that could reduce thermal stresses in the capital cities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106666
JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
Early online date16 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 30 Nov 2021

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© 2021 Elsevier Inc.


  • Land use/land cover (LULC)
  • Local climate zone (LCZ)
  • Local surface temperature (LST)
  • Normalized difference built-up index (NDBI)
  • Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)


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