Assessing Anthropogenic Dynamics in Megacities from the Characterization of Land Use/Land Cover Changes: The Bogotá Study Case
Keywordsland use/land cover change
Bogotá river basin
land change modeler
Environmental effects of industries and plants
Renewable energy sources
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AbstractUsually, megacities expand without proper planning in a context of demographic growth and are increasingly dependent on the natural resources related to the occupied area. This is a major challenge for the sustainable management of these territories, justifying the need for a better knowledge of land use/land cover (LULC) distribution and characteristics to observe spatial anthropogenic dynamics. In this study, the Bogotá river basin and the Bogotá megacity were analyzed as a case study. The main objective of this work was to analyze the historical LULC dynamics from 1985 to 2014. Reliable forecasting scenarios were developed using the Land Change Modeler to support sustainable management and planning. Results show an expansion of the Bogotá megacity toward the Northeast and an increase of urban areas within the basin. These changes implied a loss of 58% of forest surface, a strategic ecosystem, from 1985 to 2014. This dynamic is expected to continue, with a 50% increase of urban areas between 2012 to 2050, thus the megacity and neighbor cities potentially become an “urban continuum”. A replacement of crop and pasture lands near the city is expected, even though Bogotá lands are among the best agricultural lands in the Andean region of Colombia.