Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate-analysis of different formulations applied to mainland Portugal

Rita Nicolau, João David, Mário Caetano, José M.C. Pereira

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper presents a methodological approach for the assessment of the indicator 11.3.1: "Ratio of Land Consumption Rate to Population Growth Rate" proposed by the United Nations (UN), discussing the definitions and assumptions that support the indicator quantification, and analysing the results provided by different formulations applied to mainland Portugal, at the municipality level. Due to specific limitations related to the actual formula proposed by the UN (LCRPGR) for the computation of the indicator, an alternative formulation derived from Land Use Efficiency (LUE) was explored. Considering that the land to which the indicator refers may be described by specific classes represented in Land Cover Land Use (LCLU) maps, in the estimation of the land consumption rate we tested two LCLU datasets: Corine Land Cover and COS-the Portuguese LCLU reference map. For the estimation of the population growth rate, prior allocation of inhabitants to the areas where people are most likely to reside was deemed necessary, using a dasymetric mapping technique based on LCLU information. The results obtained for 2007-2011 and 2011-2015 showed, in most municipalities, an increase in the urban area and a decrease in urban population, leading to negative values both in LCRPGR and LUE in most of the territory. Clearly, LUE performed better than LCRPGR in what urban development monitoring and urban area dynamics trends are concerned. Furthermore, LUE was much easier to interpret.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Land cover land use
  • Population growth
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Urban land take
  • Urban sprawl

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