29 Jan '12, 3pm

NASA Satellite Images of Istanbul Put Causes and Consequences of Urban Sprawl in Stark Relief

NASA Satellite Images of Istanbul Put Causes and Consequences of Urban Sprawl in Stark Relief

© NASA Earth Observatory Istanbul in 1975. Vegetated areas appear red while urbanized ones appear gray in this satellite image. Recently released satellite photos of Istanbul provide striking visual evidence of what building more roads can do to a city -- and the results aren't very pretty. A NASA Earth Observatory image acquired from a Landsat satellite in 1975, when Istanbul's population was around 2.5 million, shows a relatively small area of urban settlement (depicted in gray) surrounded by broad swathes of red (representing "plant-covered land"). More Roads Mean More Sprawl Thirty-six years later, by which time the city's population had swelled to more than 13 million, many of those red areas had, unsurprisingly, turned gray. But the pattern of urbanization appears quite strongly to be not just the result of more people, but of more roads: © NASA Earth Observatory Ist...

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