Classification of Urban Area Using Multispectral Indices for Urban Planning

Graphical Abstract: 4 imaging methods are synthesized into one titled "New Urban Intensities"
Lynch P, Blesius L, Hines E
Journal Title or Book Publisher
Remote Sensing
Publication type

Lynch P, Blesius L, Hines E. Classification of Urban Area Using Multispectral Indices for Urban Planning. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(15):2503.


An accelerating trend of global urbanization accompanying population growth makes frequently updated land use and land cover (LULC) maps critical. LULC maps have been widely created through the classification of remotely sensed imagery. Maps of urban areas have been both dichotomous (urban or non-urban) and entailing of discrete urban types. This study incorporated multispectral built-up indices, designed to enhance satellite imagery, for introducing new urban classification schemes. The indices examined are the new built-up index (NBI), the built-up area extraction index (BAEI), and the normalized difference concrete condition index (NDCCI). Landsat Level-2 data covering the city of Miami, FL, USA was leveraged with geographic data from the Florida Geospatial Data Library and Florida Department of Environmental Protection to develop and validate new methods of supervised and unsupervised classification of urban area. NBI was used to extract discrete urban features through object-oriented image analysis. BAEI was found to possess properties for visualizing and tracking urban development as a low-high gradient. NDCCI was composited with NBI and BAEI as the basis for a robust urban intensity classification scheme superior to that of the United States Geological Survey National Land Cover Database 2016. BAEI, implemented as a shadow index, was incorporated in a novel infill geosimulation of high-rise construction. The findings suggest that the proposed classification schemes are advantageous to the process of creating more detailed cartography in response to the increasing global demand.