Effects of urban sprawl on agricultural land: a case study of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey



The main objective of this study is to quantify areal loss of olive groves due to urban sprawl of the city of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey. Spatial changes were analysed by interpreting the digitized data derived from a black–white monoscopic aerial photograph taken in 1985, panchromatic IKONOS image of 2000 and two pan-sharpened Quickbird images of 2004 and 2006. Data obtained revealed that the area of olive groves decreased by 25% from 460.55 ha in 1985 to 344.46 in 2006, while the number of parcels increased from 170 to 445. Of the total areal loss, 60% was due to building constructions, with the rest being due to clear-cut for new residential gardens composed of exotic plants, new buildings, or new roads. Rapid population growth, increased land prices due to urban expansion, and abandonment of agricultural practices to construction of multi-storey buildings were the main causes of the process that transformed the olive groves into urbanized areas. Results pointed to an urgent need to (1) revise the national and municipal land management practices, (2) balance the gap between the short- and long-term economic benefits that urban and community development plans ignore, and (3) monitor land-use changes periodically by using high resolution satellite images.


Land use change Urban expansion Remote sensing Geographical information systems Kahramanmaraş 


  1. Abahussain, A. A., Abdu, A. S., Al-Zubari, W. K., El-Deen, N. A., & Abdul-Raheem, M. (2002). Desertification in the Arab region: Analysis of current status and trends. Journal of Arid Environments, 51, 521–545. doi:10.1016/S0140-1963(02)90975-4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anonymous (2006). Draft report for rehabilitation project of Ceyhan basin: Kahramanmaraş section. Province Directorate of Environment and Forest, Kahramanmaraş, Turkey.Google Scholar
  3. Bolca, M., Türkyilmaz, B., Kurucu, Y., Altinbas, U., Esetlili, M. T., & Gulgun, B. (2007). Determination of impact of urbanization on agricultural land and wetland land in Balçovas’ delta by remote sensing and GIS technique. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 131, 409–419. doi:10.1007/s10661-006-9486-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Campbell-Lendrum, D., & Corvalan, C. (2007). Climate change and developing-country cities: Implications for environmental health and equity. Journal of Urban Health, 48(1), 109–117. doi:10.1007/s11524-007-9170-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Davis, J. A., & Froend, R. (1999). Loss and degradation of wetlands in southwestern Australia: Underlying causes, consequences and solutions. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 7, 13–23. doi:10.1023/A:1008400404021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Doygun, H., Alphan, H., & Gurun, K. D. (2008). Analysing urban expansion and land use suitability for the city of Kahramanmaraş, Turkey, and its surrounding region. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 145, 387–395. doi:10.1007/s10661-007-0047-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. EEA (European Environment Agency) (2006). Urban sprawl in Europe: The ignored challenge. EEA Report No: 10/2006, Copenhagen, Denmark.Google Scholar
  8. Eşbah, H. (2007). Land use trends during rapid urbanization of the city of Aydin, Turkey. Environmental Management, 39, 443–459. doi:10.1007/s00267-005-0331-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Evrendilek, F., & Doygun, H. (2000). Assessing major ecosystem types and the challenge of sustainability in Turkey. Environmental Management, 26(5), 479–489. doi:10.1007/s002670010106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gurbuz, M. (1999). Human and economic geography of Kahramanmaraş district. Dissertation, University of Ankara, Turkey.Google Scholar
  11. Irtem, E., Kabdasli, S., & Azbar, N. (2005). Coastal zone problems and environmental strategies to be implemented at Edremit bay, Turkey. Environmental Management, 36(1), 37–47. doi:10.1007/s00267-004-0062-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Kanadikirik, E. (1972). Dwelling types in Maras. Turkish Journal of Geographical Researches, 5–6, 253–281.Google Scholar
  13. Keleş, S., Sivrikaya, F., Çakir, G., & Köse, S. (2008). Urbanization and forest cover change in regional directorate of Trabzon forestry from 1975 to 2000 using Landsat data. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 140, 1–14. doi:10.1007/s10661-007-9845-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kesgin, B., & Nurlu, E. (2008). Land cover changes on the coastal zone of Candarli Bay, Turkey using remotely sensed data. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. doi:10.1007/s10661-008-0517-x.
  15. Korkmaz, H. (2001). Geomorpholohgy of Kahramanmaraş basin. Kahramanmaraş governorship. (Kahramanmaraş Province Directorate of Culture, No: 3).Google Scholar
  16. Nelson, E., & Booth, D. B. (2002). Sediment sources in urbanizing, mixed land-use watershed. Journal of Hydrology (Amsterdam), 64, 51–68. doi:10.1016/S0022-1694(02)00059-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sukopp, H. (2004). Human-caused impact on preserved vegetation. Landscape and Urban Planning, 68, 347–355.Google Scholar
  18. TSI (Turkish Statistical Institute) (2007). Kahramanmaraş urban population between the years 1950 and 2000. Results of General Census 2000, Ankara, Turkey.Google Scholar
  19. TSMS (Turkish State Meteorological Service) (2007). Climatic Data of Kahramanmaraş, between 1996–2005. Ankara, Turkey.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of ForestryUniversity of KahramanmaraşKahramanmaraşTurkey

Personalised recommendations