The evolution of built-up areas in Ghana since 1975.

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Date: May 21, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 5)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 18,335 words
Lexile Measure: 1380L

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Abstract :

We use high resolution satellite data on the proportion of buildings in a 250x250 meter cell to study the evolution of human settlement in Ghana over a 40 year period. We find a strong increase in built-up area over time, mostly concentrated in the vicinity of roads, and also directly on the coast. We find strong evidence of agglomeration effects both in the static sense-buildup in one cell predicts buildup in a nearby cell-and in a dynamic sense-buildup in a cell predicts buildup in that cell later on and an increase in buildup in nearby cells. These effects are strongest over a 3 to 15 Km radius, which corresponds to a natural hinterland for a population without mechanized transportation. We find no evidence that human settlements are spaced more or less equally either over the landscape or along roads. This suggests that arable land is not yet fully utilized, allowing rural settlements to be separated by areas of un-farmed land. By fitting a transition matrix to the data, we predict a sharp increase in the proportion of the country that is densely built-up by the middle and the end of the century, but no increase in the proportion of partially built-up locations.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A662543334