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Three decades of landscape change across the largest peri-urban horticultural region of Argentina: urban growth, productive intensification and the need for resilient landscape management

Carolina Baldini, Mariana Edith Marasas and Andrea Alejandra Drozd

Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2022, vol. 65, issue 10, 1781-1820

Abstract: Urbanization and agricultural land expansion are the largest drivers of global land cover change. Here, we aimed to quantify three decades of land-use/land-cover change across one of the main horticultural regions of South America. We assessed landscape change implementing a supervised classification workflow on Landsat satellite imagery (1986, 1996, 2005 and 2015). Between 1986 and 2015, horticulture extent decreased (51.47%) at the expense of a high increase in greenhouses (2652.83%). Additionally, high density urbanization experienced a strong expansion (111.58%), while low density urbanization increased only between 1986 and 2005, replacing natural grassland, herbaceous parks and livestock. These results demonstrate a regional urban growth and productive intensification process that echoes similar global processes with consequential losses of open field horticultural areas and a non-equitable distribution of semi-natural areas in this region. Adequate territorial planning toward ecological resilient territories that consider ecological processes and prioritize semi-natural vegetation cover is urgently needed.

Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2021.1947787

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