Back in January 2017, I did a quick study on the local environmental concerns in Pune with reference to urbanization, under our Sustainably Smart Pune 2030 project. Now that I am in the process of compiling all the information into a super report I would like to share my findings with you all.
While I was looking for information on the environmental aspects like landuse, biodiversity, green cover, ambient air quality etc, Dr Priyadarshini Karve suggested me to quantify the aspects since it is true that whatever can be measured, is easy to manage. Hence we wanted to quantify the impacts, however at that time all I could find was some numbers and graphs which did represent magnitude of the impact urbanization is having on our environment. Starting with this blog, over the next few weeks, I want to share the journey of exploration and discovery that is leading us to developing an approach to quantification of environmental impacts of urbanisation in Pune. Needless to say, everyone's suggestions, comments, inputs are most welcome!
So, firstly I looked at land use of Pune, while reviewing various documents. I came across a study done by Prof. Nitin Munde from Pune University, who is a geographer, and used Geoinformatics (GIS) and developed land use land cover (LULC) maps of Pune right from 1973 to 2014. These maps help us to understand the spatial extent of urban growth that occurred in Pune.
You can see the images of the maps posted for reference. These colour coded maps show category of land under various uses like built up, vegetation agriculture etc...Each land use is depicted by a color and here built up is assigned red colour, land under vegetation is assigned green colour and so on. You can see the spread of red color covering the entire area. This shows the extent of urban growth due to the incoming population in the city either for work or education.
There is also a graph showing the changes in LULC in percentage for each category. The graph below clearly shows that more and more land is being consumed for built up to provide housing, infrastructure and other basic services due to urbanization. Whereas the other categories of land which are the providing factors or resources are drastically reducing. Especially the scrub land which has reduced from 49% to 5 % in the span of 40 years, followed by fallow land, then land under rivers and lakes. You can see an increase in land under vegetation and agricultural land, but this is because in 2000, surrounding villages got merged into the Pune city increasing the limits of the city. This can be seen in the maps as well.
|Graph showing the percentage of LULC|
In my earlier blogs I mentioned about ecological footprint and how we are experiencing the ecological deficit at the global level. Though its quite tedious to calculate the ecological footprint at a city level, through this study it is quite evident that the rate at which we are consuming our resources leaving no or very less room for regeneration, we are going to remain in debt to our future generations. Just think about it … and stay tuned for more in coming weeks!