2019 Urban Fellow
Research Topic: Urbanization and Land Use Change
Faculty Advisor: Karen Seto
Big Data Analysis on Montane Geography and Urban Development in Nepal
The Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region is home to about 210 million people and is undergoing rapid urban sprawl. This study analyzed the correlation between the urban settlement and montane geography with ArcGIS and regression models. This study discovered that 81% of urban settlements are on valley floors (gradient < 3°) than slopes. Slope gradient (p-value = 0.0036) and soil type are correlated with urban intensity, but slope aspect is not. In terms of soil type, Cambisols, especially Eutric and Ferralic Cambisols are more suitable for urban settlements than other soils. This quantitative study on the urbanization process in Nepal will help to inform area-specific land use and urban planning policies, assist hazard vulnerability assessment and management, and offer basic urbanization data necessary to other environmental studies.