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Urban Growth in Sichuan China
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Urban Growth in Sichuan, China

December 12, 2003
Backed up against the Qionglai Mountains in the Sichuan Province of central China, the 2,000+-year-old city of Chengdu, China, grew dramatically between July 1990 and July 2000. This Landsat image of Chengdu is part of a study that is using high- and moderate-resolution satellite data to monitor patterns of urbanization across the Earth. In the image above, yellow areas show the extent of the urban area in 1990, while orange areas show what was built up in the 10 years after that. In many cases, the urban build up has moved out of the core of the city along roadways, which radiate out from the city like spokes on a wheel. A new roadway makes an orange ring around the city and is connected to the core by many new spokes. Urban expansion has mostly been on the western side of the city, approaching the mountain foothills.