Image Processing Reference
In-Depth Information
activity may also be taken into consideration in defining urban areas (also see
Chapter 3). For example, an urban area may be defined in terms of the built-up area
or in terms of the functional area. The functional area includes areas for which ser-
vices and facilities are provided, and may thus embrace not only the built-up area
but also free-standing settlements outside the urban area and tracts of surrounding
countryside if the population in these surrounding areas depends on the urban center
for services and employment. An urban area may also be defined using population
or buildings density as an indicator of urbanization (Barba and Rabuco 1997 ; Gross
and Monteiro 1989 ).
Areas that are not classified as “urban” are typically
represented as “rural areas.” However, there is no standard
definition of rural areas that is generally accepted in policy,
research, and planning, which is at least partially due to the
increasing integration of rural and urban areas through
commuting patterns and urban and suburban expansion.
Different definitions are in use that are each based on dif-
ferent criteria, different levels of analysis, and different
methodologies. Most definitions, however, classify rural
areas based on population density, level of urbanization,
adjacency and relationship to an urbanized area. Some defi-
nitions also take into account the principal economic activ-
ity in an area (RPRI 2004 ; Cromartie and Swanson 1996 ).
For the purposes of this chapter, “rural areas” are defined
according to the International Institute for Environment and
Development (IIED 2004 ), which define rural-urban interactions as “linkages
across space (such as flows of people, goods, money, information and wastes) and
linkages between sectors (for example, between agriculture and services and manu-
facturing). In broad terms, they also include 'rural' activities taking place in urban
areas (such as urban agriculture) and activities often classified as 'urban' (such as
manufacturing and services) taking place in rural settlements.” As a result of con-
tinued population growth, departure from agricultural systems, and industrializa-
tion, urban areas have been sprawling at the expense of rural areas (e.g., forest
land), ultimately causing the degradation of the physical environment. In order to
ensure that urban areas do not encroach on valuable agricultural land, that agricul-
ture occurs in suitable locations, and that urban development does not cause the
degradation of adjacent agricultural lands, it is crucial to analyze rural-urban land
use changes (CCRS 2003 ).
the term land
cover describes
the type of
cover observed
on the Earth's
surface, while
land use refers
to the manner in
which certain
land cover types
are employed or
managed by
Urbanization in Developing Countries
A developing country (or a least developed country) is a country that has not
reached the stage of economic development characterized by the growth of indus-
trialization. In developing countries, national income is less than the amount of
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