Spatial Matrices of Urban Expansion in Lafia, North-Central Nigeria

Samuel Medayese(1*), Hangwelani Hope Magidimisha-Chipungu(2), Lovemore Chipungu(3)

(1) Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, Durban 4041, South Africa
(2) Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, Durban 4041, South Africa
(3) Department of Town and Regional Planning, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College Campus, Durban 4041, South Africa
(*) Corresponding Author


Rapid urbanisation in African cities has caused considerable problems by hindering their ability to meet infrastructure and service needs, resulting in rising land-use consumption. This study examines how land use/land cover change in Lafia, a city in North-central Nigeria, has impacted the city's boundaries between 1999 and 2019 and includes a projection using GIS simulation of land use/ land cover to 2029. The methodology includes remote sensing techniques, spatiotemporal analysis of geographical measurements, and statistical models. This study involved spatial analysis and projection of city growth from 1999 to 2029 in Lafia using GIS. This analysis focuses on the changes in built-up areas, vegetal cover, bare land, and water bodies using land-use/landcover data. The results indicated significant urban expansion and its impact on the city's spatial patterns. The Urban Expansion Differentiation Index (UEDI) and Urban Expansion Intensity Index (UEII)were used to assess urban sprawl and socioeconomic patterns such as population density and density gradient. High residential and employment densities, varied land uses, continuous development, and multi-modal transportation are all important for sustainable urban growth. The study indicates a direct relationship between population growth and urban expansion, as seen in Lafia. Furthermore, the findings suggest that cities grow beyond their typical boundaries, resulting in peri-urban expansion, as shown in the Alakio districts of the Lafia Metropolis. The study findings have important implications for urban growth policy and land use/land cover change. They will contribute to a better understanding of the effects of urban growth on the spatial matrix and morphology of cities, assisting city planners in recognizing these effects. Furthermore, the study adds evidence to the continuing debate about urban expansion, liveability, and spatial sustainability in African cities. The thorough examination of land use/land cover change in Lafia sheds light on the spatial dynamics of urbanisation and its implications for sustainable urban development.


Land use;Density Gradient;Urban Expansion;City Limit; Peri-Urban Areas; urbanization; Remote Sensing; Latfia

Full Text:



Acheampong R. A., Agyemang, F., S., K., Abdul-Fatawu, M. (2016). Quantifying the Spatio-temporal patterns of settlement growth in a metropolitan region of Ghana. GeoJournal, pp. 1–18.

Alberti, M., E. Botsford, and A. Cohen. (2001). Quantifying the urban gradient: Linking urban planning and ecology. In Avian ecology in an urbanising world, ed. J. M. Marzluff, R. Bowman, R. McGowan, and R. Donnelly. New York: Kluwer.

Alsharif, A.A., B. Pradhan (2013). Urban sprawl analysis of Tripoli Metropolitan city (Libya) using remote sensing data and multivariate logistic regression model. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sen-sing, pp. 1-15.

asghar Pilehvar, A. (2021). Spatial-geographical analysis of urbanisation in Iran. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8(1), 1-12.

Asokan, A., & Anitha, J. J. E. S. I. (2019). Change detection techniques for remote sensing applications: A survey. Earth Science Informatics, 12, 143-160.

Bhatta, B. (2009). Analysis of urban growth pattern using remote sensing and GIS: a case study of Kolkata, India. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 30(18), 4733e4746.

Blok, D., Schaepman-Strub, G., Bartholomeus, H., Heijmans, M. M., Maximov, T. C., & Berendse, F. (2011). The response of Arctic vegetation to the summer climate: relation between shrub cover, NDVI, surface albedo and temperature. Environmental Research Letters, 6(3), 035502.

Botequilha Leitão, A., Miller, J., Ahern, J., McGarigal, K. (2006). Measuring landscapes: A planner's hand-book (Washington: Island Press).

Bouhennache, R., Bouden, T.; Taleb, A. A., Chaddad, A. (2015). Extraction of urban land features from TM Landsat image using the land features to index and Tasseled cap transformation. Recent Advances on Electro science and Computers.

Brenner, N., Schmid, C. (2014). The' urban age 'in question. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 38(3): 731–755.

Brenner, N., Schmid, C. (2015). Towards a new epistemology of the urban? City 19(2–3):151–182.

Cao, S., Lv, Y., Zheng, H., Wang, X. (2014). Challenges facing China's unbalanced urba- nization strategy. Land Use Pol. 39 (5), 412–415.

Chen, M., Liu, W., Lu, D. (2016). Challenges and the way forward in China's new-type urbanisation. Land Use Pol. 55 (55), 334–339.

Chen, Y., Yu, S. (2017). Impacts of urban landscape patterns on urban thermal variations in Guangzhou, Chi-na. Int. J. Appl. Earth Obs. 54 (2), 65–71.

Cobbinah, P. B. (2023). City in Africa I: Urbanism and informality. Journal of Urban Affairs, 45(3), 297-301.

Coutts, A. M., Tapper, N. J., Beringer, J., Loughnan, M., & Demuzere, M. (2013). Watering our cities: The ca-pacity for Water Sensitive Urban Design to support urban cooling and improve human thermal comfort in the Australian context. Progress in physical geography, 37(1), 2-28.

Davis, K. (1961). Urban research and its significance. In Gibbs, J. P. (Ed.), Urban research methods. Toronto: D. Van Nostrand. Foreword.

Davis, K. (1965). The Urbanisation of human population. Scientific American. 213, pp. 26-27.

Das, S., & Angadi, D. P. (2022). Land use land cover change detection and monitoring of urban growth using remote sensing and GIS techniques: a micro-level study. GeoJournal, 87(3), 2101-2123.

Delphin, S., Escobedo, F.J., Abd-Elrahman, A., Cropper, W.P. (2016). Urbanisation as a land use change dri-ver of forest ecosystem services. Land Use Pol. 54, 188–199.

Domanski, D., Howaldt, J., & Kaletka, C. (2020). A comprehensive concept of social innovation and its impli-cations for the local context–on the growing importance of social innovation ecosystems and infras-tructures. European planning studies, 28(3), 454-474.

Estoque, R. C., Ooba, M., Seposo, X. T., Togawa, T., Hijioka, Y., Takahashi, K., & Nakamura, S. (2020). Heat health risk assessment in Philippine cities using remotely sensed data and social-ecological indicators. Nature communications, 11(1), 1581.

Fang, C. (2014). Progress and the future direction of research into urban agglomeration in China. Acta Geo-graph. Sin. 69 (8), 1130–1144.

Feng, Y., Wang, X., & Liang, Z. (2021). How does environmental information disclosure affect economic development and haze pollution in Chinese cities? The mediating role of green technology innovation. Science of the total environment, 775, 145811.

Fasona, M. J. and Omojola, A. S. (2005). Climate Change, Human security and Communal Clashes in Nigeria. Paper presented at an International Workshop on Human Security and Climate Change, Asker, Norway.

Fontes, L.R., Milano, S. (2002). Termites as an urban problem in South America. Sociobiology 40, 103–151.

Geymen, A., & Baz, I. (2008). Monitoring urban growth and detecting land-cover changes on the Istanbul me-tropolitan area. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 136, 449e459.

Grimm, N. B., Grove, J. M., Pickett, S. T. A., & Redman, C. L. (2000). Integrated approaches to long-term studies of urban ecological systems. Bioscience, 50(7), 571e584.

Gössling, S. (2020). Why cities need to take road space from cars-and how this could be done. Journal of Ur-ban Design, 25(4), 443-448.

Gunawardena, K. R., Wells, M. J., & Kershaw, T. (2017). Utilising green and blue space to mitigate urban heat island intensity. Science of the Total Environment, 584, 1040-1055.

Hardin, P. J., Jackson, M. W., & Otterstrom, S. M. (2007). Mapping, measuring, and modelling urban growth. In R. R. Jensen, J. D. Gatrell, & D. McLean (Eds.), Geo- spatial technologies in urban environments: Policy, practice, and pixels (2nd ed.). (pp. 141e176).

Hatab, A. A., Cavinato, M. E. R., Lindemer, A., & Lagerkvist, C. J. (2019). Urban sprawl, food security and agricultural systems in developing countries: A systematic review of the literature. Cities, 94, 129-142.

Hatt, P., & Reiss, A. (1961). Cities and society. New York: The Free Press of Glencoe, Inc. p. 17.

Herold, M., Couclelis, H., Clarke, K.C. (2005). The role of spatial metrics in the analysis and modelling of ur-ban land-use change. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 29(4), 369-399.

Hersperger, A. M., Oliveira, E., Pagliarin, S., Palka, G., Verburg, P., Bolliger, J., & Grădinaru, S. (2018). Urban land-use change: The role of strategic spatial planning. Global Environmental Change, 51, 32-42.

Huang, K., Li, X., Liu, X., & Seto, K. C. (2019). Projecting global urban land expansion and heat island inten-sification through 2050. Environmental Research Letters, 14(11), 114037.

Huete, A.R. (1988). A soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI), Remote Sensing Environ., 25(3): pp.295-309.

Hussain, M. & Imtiyaz, I. (2016). Social Impact of Urbanisation on the Institution of Family in Kashmir: A Study of Srinagar City. The Communications, Vol. 24 (1). p. 109

Irwin, E. G., & Geoghegan, J. (2001). Theory, data, methods: developing spatially explicit economic models of land use change. Agriculture Ecosystems & Environment, 85, 7e24.

Jensen, J.R. (2005). Introductory Digital Image Processing: A Remote Sensing Perspective, Third ed. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

Ji, M., Jensen, J.R. (1999). Effectiveness of subpixel analysis in detecting and quantifying urban impervious-ness from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. Geocarto International, 14(4), 33-41.

Kjelgren, R., Rupp, L., & Kilgren, D. (2000). Water conservation in urban landscapes. HortScience, 35(6), 1037-1040.

Koop, S.H.A., Leeuwen, C.J.V. (2017). The challenges of water, waste and climate change in cities. Environ. Dev. Sustain. 19 (2), 385–418.

Li, J. J., Wang, X. R., Wang, X. J., Ma, W. C., & Zhang, H. (2009). Remote sensing evaluation of urban heat island and its spatial pattern of the Shanghai metropolitan area, China. Ecological Complexity, 6, 413e420.

Li, Q., Fang, Ch., Li, G.; Ren Zh. (2015). Quantitative Measurement of Urban Expansion and Its Driving Fac-tors in Qingdao: An Empirical Analysis Based on County Unit Data. Journal of Resources and Ecolo-gy, 6 (3).

Li, Y., Cao, Z., Long, H., Liu, Y., Li, W. (2016). Dynamic analysis of ecological environment combined with land cover and NDVI changes and implications for sustainable urban–rural development: the case of Mu Us Sandy Land, China. J. Clean. Prod. 142 (2), 697–715.

Li, L., Zhao, K., Wang, X., Zhao, S., Liu, X., & Li, W. (2022). Spatio-temporal evolution and driving me-chanism of urbanisation in small cities: Case study from Guangxi. Land, 11(3), 415.

Liu, M.; Hu, Y., Chang, Y., He, X., Zhang, W. (2009). Land Use and Land Cover Change Analysis and Predic-tion in the Upper Reaches of the Minjiang River, China. Environmental Management 43: pp. 899-907.

Liu, P., Xu, S., Lin, J., Li, H., Lin, Q., & Han, B. P. (2020). Urbanisation increases biotic homogenization of zooplankton communities in tropical reservoirs. Ecological Indicators, 110, 105899.

Liu, X., Fang, W., Li, H., Han, X., & Xiao, H. (2021). Is Urbanisation Good for the Health of Middle-Aged and Elderly People in China?—Based on CHARLS Data. Sustainability, 13(9), 4996.

Long, H., Liu, Y., Hou, X., Li, T., Li, Y. (2014). Effects of land use transitions due to rapid urbanisation on ecosystem services: implications for urban planning in the new developing area of China. Habitat Int. 44 (10), 536–544.

Long, Y., Mao, Q., & Dang, A. (2009). Beijing urban development model: urban growth analysis and simula-tion. Tsinghua Science and Technology, 14(6), 782e794

Lopez, L. (2021). Does the Future Belong to Mediterranean Cities?. Geographies of Mediterranean Europe, 287-308.

Maktav, D., & Erbek, F. S. (2005). Analysis of urban growth using multi-temporal satellite data in Istanbul, Turkey. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 26(4), 797e810.

McFeeters, S.K. (1996). The use of normalised difference water index (NDWI) in the delineation of open wa-ter features, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 17(7): pp.1425–1432.

McGarigal, K., Cushman, S.A., Ene, E. (2012). FRAGSTATS v4: Spatial Pattern Analysis Program for Catego-rical and Continuous Maps. Computer software program produced by the authors at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

McGranahan, G., Satterthwaite, D. (2003). Urban centres: an assessment of sustainability. Annual Review of Environmental Resources 28, 243–274

McKnight, M. L., Gibbs, B. G., Sanders, S. R., Cope, M. R., Jackson, J. E., & Park, P. N. (2019). Small towns and urban centers: The relationship of distance and population size to community satisfaction. Com-munity development, 50(4), 389-405.

McPherson, E. G. (1994). Cooling urban heat islands with sustainable landscapes. In: Platt, Rutherford H., Rowntree, Rowan A., Muick, Pamela C., eds. The ecological city: preserving and restoring urban bio-diversity. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press: 151-171, 151-171.

Metternicht, G. (2018). Land use and spatial planning: Enabling sustainable management of land resources. Springer.

Nakaya, T., Fotheringham, A. S., Brunsdon, C., Charlton, M. E. (2005). Geographically weighted Poisson re-gression for disease association mapping, Statistics in Medicine 24: 2695–2717.

NPC. (2011). National Population Commission.

Olalekan, R. M., Omidiji, A. O., Williams, E. A., Christianah, M. B., & Modupe, O. (2019). The roles of all tiers of government and development partners in the environmental conservation of natural resource: a case study in Nigeria. MOJ Ecology & Environmental Sciences, 4(3), 114-121.

Patra, S., Sahoo, S., Mishra, P., & Mahapatra, S. C. (2018). Impacts of urbanisation on land use/cover changes and its probable implications on local climate and groundwater level. Journal of urban management, 7(2), 70-84.

Qian, J., & An, N. (2021). Urban theory between political economy and everyday urbanism: desiring machine and power in a saga of urbanisation. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 45(4), 679-695.

Pratibha, P. S., Priya, M. H., Duhita, S. D. (2014). Fusion Classification of Multispectral and Panchromatic Image using Improved Decision Tree Algorithm", IEEExplore, 978-1-4799-3140-8/14/$31.00 ©2014 IEEE.

Ronchi, S., Arcidiacono, A., & Pogliani, L. (2020). Integrating green infrastructure into spatial planning regula-tions to improve the performance of urban ecosystems. Insights from an Italian case study. Sustai-nable Cities and Society, 53, 101907.

Sarma, V. V. L. N., Krishna, G. M., Malini, B. H., & Rao, K. N. (2001). Landuse/Landcover change detection through remote sensing and its climatic implications in the godavari delta region. Journal of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing, 29(1), 85-91.

Şenik, B., & Uzun, O. (2022). A process approach to the open green space system planning. Landscape and Ecological Engineering, 18(2), 203-219.

Sidemo‐Holm, W., Ekroos, J., Reina García, S., Söderström, B., & Hedblom, M. (2022). Urbanisation causes biotic homogenization of woodland bird communities at multiple spatial scales. Global Change Biolo-gy, 28(21), 6152-6164.

Singh, A. (1989). Digital change detection techniques using remotely sensed data. International journal of re-mote sensing,10(6) 989-1003.

Spanier, E., & Zviely, D. (2022). Key environmental impacts along the Mediterranean coast of Israel in the last 100 years. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 11(1), 2.

Stanley, M.C., Beggs, J.R., Bassett, I.E., Burns, B.R., Dirks, K.N., Jones, D.N. (2016). Emerging threats in ur-ban ecosystems: a horizon scanning exercise. Front. Ecol. Environ. 13 (10), 553–560.

Telfah, S., Chau, K. Y., Tran, T. K., Bui, A. T., Tai, N. T., & Phan, T. T. H. (2023). Role of financial markets and natural resource utilization in green economic recovery: Evidence from selected developing economies. Resources Policy, 83, 103761.

Tian, Y., Tsendbazar, N. E., van Leeuwen, E., Fensholt, R., & Herold, M. (2022). A global analysis of multi-faceted urbanisation patterns using Earth Observation data from 1975 to 2015. Landscape and Urban planning, 219, 104316.

United Nation. (2018). China's urban population will increase by 255 million in 2050. Retrieved from, 5-16.

United Nations, World Population Prospects. (2015). Key Findings and Advance Tables. Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division.

United Nations. (2010). World urbanisation prospects: The 2009 revision population database. Latest access in September 2010.

Weber, C., & Puissant, A. (2003). Urbanisation pressure and modelling of urban growth: example of the Tu-nis metropolitan area. Remote Sensing of Environment, 86, 341e352.

Whitmore, C., Slotow, R., Crouch, T., (2002). Conservation of biodiversity in urban environments: inverte-brates on structurally enhanced road islands. African Entomology 10,113–126.

Xu, H. (2007). Modification of normalised difference water index (NDWI) to enhance open water features in remotely sensed imagery. Int. J. Remote Sens. 27: pp. 3025–3033.

Yuan, F., Sawaya, K.E., Loeffelholz, B.C., Bauer, M.E. (2005). Land cover classification and change analysis of the Twin Cities (Minnesota) Metropolitan Area by multitemporal Landsat remote sensing. Remote Sensing of Environment, 98(2-3), 317-328.

Zaman-ul-Haq, M., Saqib, Z., Kanwal, A., Naseer, S., Shafiq, M., Akhtar, N., Bokhari, S. A., Irshad, A., Hamam, H. (2022). The Trajectories, Trends, and Opportunities for Assessing Urban Ecosystem Ser-vices: A Systematic Review of Geospatial Methods. Sustainability, 14(3), 1471.

Article Metrics

Abstract view(s): 361 time(s)
PDF: 133 time(s)


  • There are currently no refbacks.