Geographic Analysis and Monitoring Program

U.S. Geological Survey
Professional Paper 1726

Rates, Trends, Causes, and Consequences of Urban Land-Use Change in the United States

Edited by William Acevedo, Janis L. Taylor, Dave J. Hester, Carol S. Mladinich, and Sonya Glavac


This aerial photograph of part of Santa Clara County, California, typifies the urbanization that has occurred throughout much of the United States since World War II. Before the war, this area was mostly agricultural land.

This report is a collection of 20 papers on urban land use change and its environmental consequences. The papers fall into four groups and an introduction. The contents of this report are as follows:


       The Historical Development of the Nation's Urban Areas
              by Roger F. Auch, William Acevedo, and Janis L.. Taylor

Factors Affecting Urban Land-Use Change

       Cultural and Demographic Factors in Urban Decentralization in the United States—A Historical Overview
              by Alexander von Hoffman and John Felkner

       Demographic Drivers of Lakeshore Urbanization in the Ozarks
              by Sonya Glavac

       Economic Aspects of Urban Decentralization in Historical Perspective
              by Alexander von Hoffman and John Felkner

       General Trends Regarding Aggregate Materials for Urban Development, With a Suggested Method for the Analysis of Aggregates Distribution
              by Dalia Varanka

Quantifying Landscape Change

       Wrestling Sprawl to the Ground-Defining and Measuring an Elusive Concept
              by George Galster, Royce Hanson, Michael R. Ratcliffe, Harold Wolman, Stephen Coleman, and Jason Freihage

       Measuring Urban Sprawl and Extent Through Multitemporal Imperviousness Mapping
              by George Xian, Limin Yang, Jacqueline M. Klaver, and Nazmul Hossain

       An Assessment of Impervious-Surface Measurement Methods
              by E. Terrence Slonecker and Janet S. Tilley

       Comparing Impervious-Cover Densities on the Basis of Land-Use Types Between Sister Cities on the United States/Mexico Border
              by Jean Parcher

       The Use of Spatial Analytical Techniques to Identify Potential Brownfields Sites
              by Janet S. Tilley, Robin Paul, Terrance Slonecker, and Ellen Walkowiak

       Road Densities for Urban Areas in the Conterminous United States
              by Raymond D. Watts, John McCammon, Roger Compton, Carl Rich, and Tom Owens

       Quantifying Urban Intensity in Drainage Basins for Assessing Stream Ecological Conditions
              by Gerard McMahon and Thomas F. Cuffney

Regional Trends in Urban Land-Use Change

       Analyzing Albuquerque's Landscape Evolution in the 20th and 21st Centuries
              by David J. Hester

       Change to Urban, Agricultural, and Forested Land in Central and Southern Maryland From 1850-1990
              by Janis L. Taylor and William Acevedo

       Regional Landscape Change in the Northern Colorado Front Range
              by Carol S. Mladinich

       A 30-Year Study of Urban Dynamics for the Municipality of Anchorage, Alaska, 1970-2000
              by Carl J. Markon

Consequences and Impacts of Urbanization

       The Effects of Urbanization on Discharge and Suspended-Sediment Concentrations in a Southern California River
              by Jonathan A. Warrick and Kevin M. Orzech

       Changes in Anthropogenic Impervious Surfaces, Precipitation, and Daily Streamflow Discharge-A Historical Perspective in a Mid-Atlantic Subwatershed
              by David B. Jennings, and S. Taylor Jarnagin

       Urban Growth and Seagrass Distribution Trends in Tampa Bay, Florida
              by Mike Crane and George Xian

       An Overview of the Stressors and Ecological Impacts Associated with Regional and Global Patterns of Population, Land-Use, and Land-Cover Change
              by S. Taylor Jarnagin

Download this report as a 206-page PDF file (pp1726.pdf; 28.8 MB).

For questions about the content of this report, contact William Acevedo

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