A view of a suburban subdivision being developed in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Image: USGS, public domain.

Defining the Degree of Urbanization

Elizabeth Borneman

The Degree of Urbanization model classifies urban, semi-urban, and rural areas based on data from open satellite imagery and GIS data.

Urbanization Makes the Surrounding Atmosphere Drier

Caitlin Dempsey

Researchers in southern China have analyzed the impact of urbanization on local climates, known as the urban dry island (UDI) effects.

Map and summary table of Urban stream deserts (UrbSDs) within the Great Lakes Megaregion. The inset table summarizes the ten largest UrbSD Urban Areas (UAs). From: Napieralski and Carvalhaes, 2016.

Mapping the Consequences of American Urbanization and Stream Burial

A.J. Rohn

A study has found that much of the area of urban America ­ particularly in the Great Lakes region (8.3% of urban area), the Arizona Sun Corridor (7.1%), and Northern California (10.9%) but elsewhere all over the United States (6.2% total) ­ are “urban stream deserts” in which a city is “riverless... due to the effects of human development and population growth”.

Map of farming systems in Africa. Source: FAO-United Nations.

How Rapid Urbanization Threatens Human Populations: Three Effects of a Moving World

Devon Reeser

The dramatic shift of the earth’s human population to cities is not only straining urban infrastructures, but also the human population itself. Three significant human threats resulting from rapid urbanization in developing countries are increased intense agriculture from the commoditization of food, rising diabetes and heart disease rates, and brain waste of our global youth.