On September 10, the first session of the Urban Expansion webinar series, “Measuring Recent Urban Expansion,” was co-hosted with Buildings and Cities. It focused on three methods for measuring an indicator, “ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate,” of a UN Sustainable Development Goal to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” The methods combine census data and satellite-imagery analysis: contiguous built-up pixels, contiguous population pixels, and contiguous nighttime-light pixels. In his introductory remarks on the NYU approach to measuring urban growth, Research Scholar Patrick Lamson-Hall said:
The Marron Institute has a program that’s...trying to assist municipalities in preparing for urban expansion. So, we’ve come to the activity of measuring urban growth with an eye toward that objective, which is really oriented around trying to estimate how much land cities are going to consume in the future as a way of assisting them in preparing simple plans for managing their urban periphery.