Investigating and predicting land use changes in Tehran metropolis using remote sensing technology

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environment and Forest Sciences, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Mechanics, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Research Institute of Water, Energy and Environmental Sciences and Technologies, Sharif University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Environmental Technologies, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: The metropolis of Tehran as the largest capital of the Middle East is faced with phenomena such as environmental degradation, land use change and high concentration of agricultural and industrial disasters. Knowing the changes of land use in the past and predicting its future status is necessary in order to carry out a principled, dynamic planning. In this study, the spatio-temporal dynamics of land use changes in the Tehran in a 20-year period and the prediction of future changes in these land uses in the next 40-year were selected as the general objectives of this study.
Material and methods: After forming a database of Landsat 5 and 8 satellite images for three times of 2001, 2011 and 2021, the land use map of this times were prepared. For the validation of the maps Google Earth images, ground points and accuracy and Kappa coefficients were used. The time period from 2021 to 2061 was considered to predict future changes. In order to zoning and predict the future of land use changes, 6 land use change transfer sub-models with artificial neural network, Markov chain, and LCM model were used. Evaluation of the accuracy of the model was obtained from the comparison of the ground map of 2021, the future map of 2061, and the values ​​of Null success, success, Miss and False Alarm were obtained.
Results and discussion: The results showed that the period from 2001 to 2021 was associated with the expansion of residential areas, the growth of urban areas and the reduction of green spaces including gardens and parks. The expansion of residential areas has been primarily in poor and barren soils and then in gardens and green spaces. This urban growth was clearly in region 5, 21, 22 and its physical development process was linear. The decrease in the level of gardens and green space is very catastrophic and this decrease is especially evident in the central areas of the city due to the high density of buildings. Urban parks are clearly in a complicated condition in the eastern areas of Tehran. The area of ​​rain fed agriculture has increased and the area of ​​barren soils and poor lands has decreased. Most of the changes in land use related to low capacity lands and agricultural lands have occurred. Studying the maps of the future of land cover showed the continuation of the same trend of the past 20 years. Although the growth of residential areas will be slower than the previous period, but the capacity and dimensions of the city will continue to increase, especially in the western, southern and southwestern regions. The decreasing trend of gardens, parks and urban green space is still observed. This process is more intense in the case of parks and they will be destroyed more quickly. The reason for this is besides drought and withering of trees due to climate change, pollution, and conversion of these green land uses to rain fed agriculture, parks, poor rangelands and urban areas. As for the urban green spaces, the 16 and 4 regions have the worst positions, and the 17, 19. 2, 5 and 22 regions will not be safe from this damage either. The decrease in the area of ​​ rangelands and cities moved to new areas will increase; the cycle of destruction of vegetation will increase from the outskirts of Tehran.
Conclusion: Construction was more in the south of Tehran and the decreasing trend of urban green space will continue to be observed. The central areas of Tehran will be completely devoid of trees due to the predominance of the urban areas, and the point to consider is the destruction of the green belt in the north of Tehran in the future.


Amany, A.K. and Ebraheem, M.A., 2020. Comparative Analysis of land use and urban growth modeling using geomatics technology (city of Najaf-Iraq).  IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering. 881(1), 12-23.
Azari, M., Billa, L. and Chan, A., 2022. Multi-temporal analysis of past and future land cover change in the highly urbanized state of Selangor, Malaysia. Ecological Processes. 11(1), 1-15.
Azizi Qalati, S., Rangzan, K., Taghizadeh, A. and Ahmadi, Sh., 2014. Modeling land use changes using logistic regression method in LCM model (Case study: Koohmareh Sorkhi Region of Fars Province). Iranian Forest and Poplar Research. 22(4), 585- 596. (In Persian with English abstract).
Azizi, M. and Dehghani, M., 2014. Assessment of influencing factors on land use changes in urbanExpansion of metropolis, case study: District 22 of municipality of Tehran. Armanshahr Architecture and Urban Development Journal. 7(13), 343-359. (In Persian with English abstract).
Bokaeain, F., Shamsipour, A. and Alikhah Asl, M., 2020. Monitoring land use change emphasizing physical urban development of Tehran, using remote sensing and GIS. Journal of Environmental Science and Technology (JEST). 22(1), 61-78. (In Persian with English abstract).
Chen, H. and Pontius J. R.G., 2010. Diagnostic tools to evaluate a spatial land change projection along a gradient of an explanatory variable. Landscape Ecology. 25 (9), 1319-1331.
Dadashpour, H., Panahi, H. and Shams Al-Dini, A., 2019. Analysis of motivating factors and predicting land use change in the metropolitan area of Tehran with emphasis on an integrated regional model. Journal of Regional Planning. 9 (35 consecutive), 39-56. (In Persian with English abstract).
Esmaeili, F., Khodadad, M. and Roudgar Saffari, V., 2018. Investigation of urban land use changes using GIS and RS in Tehran (Case study: 15 metropolitan area of Tehran). Journal of RS and GIS for Natural Resources. 8(4), 49-62. (In Persian with English abstract).
Falahatkar, S., Hosseini, S.M., Salman Mahiy, A. and Ayoubi, Sh., 2016. Prediction of Land Use/ Cover Change by Using LCM Model. Environmental Research. 7(13), 163-174. (In Persian with English abstract).
Fathollahi Roudbary, S., Nasirahmadi, K. and khanmohamadi, M., 2018. Land use change modeling using LCM module (Case study: NEKA region). Natural Ecosystems of Iran. 9(1), 53-69. (In Persian with English abstract).
Gholamalifard, M., Joorabian Shooshtari, S., Hosseini Kahnuj, H. and Mirzaei, M., 2012. Land cover change modeling of coastal areas of Mazandaran province using LCM in a GIS environment. Journal of Environmental Studies (JES). 38(4), 109-124. (In Persian with English abstract).
Heidari Mozaffar, M. and Saleh Joneghani, E., 2021. Modeling Urban Expansion and Development of Isfahan City by Using Remote Sensing Data in LCM Model. JGST. 10(4), 179-190
Heydarian, H., Rangzan, K., Maleki, S. and Taghizadeh, A., 2014. Land use change detection using post classification comparison LandSat satellite images (Case study: land of Tehran). Journal of RS and GIS for Natural Resources. 4(4), 1-10. (In Persian with English abstract).
Karimzadeh Motlagh, Z.K., Lotfi, A., Pourmanafi, S., Ahmadizadeh, S. and Soffianian, A., 2020. Spatial modeling of land-use change in a rapidly urbanizing landscape in central Iran: Integration of remote sensing, CA-Markov, and landscape metrics. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 192(11), 1-19.
Mishra, V.N., Rai, P.K. and Mohan, K., 2014. Prediction of land use changes based on land change modeler (LCM) using remote sensing: A case study of Muzaffarpur (Bihar), India. Journal of the Geographical Institute" Jovan Cvijic", SASA. 64(1), 111-127.
Mohammad Youssefi, M., Pajouhesh, M. and Honarbakhsh, A., 2020. Modeling Trends Land Use Changes Local by Using LCM Model Based on Artificial Neural Networks and Markov Chain Analysis (Case Study: BeheshtAbad Watershed). Jwmr. 11(21), 129-142. (In Persian with English abstract).
Mohammadyari, F., Pourkhabbaz, H., Aghdar, H. and Tavakoly, M., 2019. Modeling land use pattern, city Behbahan city in the period 2000 - 2028 using remote sensing and GIS. 9(18), 223-238. (In Persian with English abstract).
Nadizadeh Shorabeh, S., Hamzeh, S., Zanganeh Shahraki, S., Firozjaei, M.K. and Jokar Arsanjani, J., 2020. Modelling the intensity of surface urban heat island and predicting the emerging patterns: Landsat multi-temporal images and Tehran as case study. International Journal of Remote Sensing. 41(19), 7400-7426.
Najafzadeh, F., Mohammadzadeh, A., Ghorbanian, A. and Jamali, S., 2021. Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Surface Urban Heat Island and Thermal Comfort Using Landsat Satellite Images between 1989 and 2019: A Case Study in Tehran. Remote Sensing. 13(21), p. 4469.
Naserikia, M., Asadi Shamsabadi, E., Rafieian, M. and Leal Filho, W., 2019. The urban heat island in an urban context: A case study of Mashhad, Iran. International journal of environmental research and public health. 16(3), p. 313.
Rajabzadeh, F., 2016. Land use changes in southwest of Tehran using remote sensing technique and Markov chain. Protection of water and soil resources. 6(2), 59-71.
Saeifar, M.H. and Mohammadnia, M., 2015. Land use/land cover change detection in Tehran city using Landsat satellite images. Journal of Applied Environmental and Biological Sciences. 5(12), 199-207.
Sharma, R., Nehren, U., Rahman, S.A., Meyer, M., Rimal, B., Aria Seta, G. and Baral, H., 2018. Modeling land use and land cover changes and their effects on biodiversity in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Land. 7(2), p.57.
Tavakoli Nia, J., Azizpour, F. and Ansari, T., 2009. Changes in agricultural land use and relative increase in temperature in Yazd due to its rapid growth. Geography and regional development. 7(12), 37- 54. (In Persian).
Vahedian Beicky, L., Poorahmad, A. and Saif al-Dini, F., 2011. The effect of physical development of Tehran on land use change in region 5. New Attitudes in Human Geography (Human Geography). 4(1), 29-46. (In Persian with English abstract).
Yaghoubkhani, M., 2012. The study of land use changes in the Tehran metropolitan area by using MOLAND model. In 48th International Society of City and Regional Planning (ISOCARP) Congress: Perm, Russia. p. 1-9.