Assessing Impervious Surface Changes in Sustainable Coastal Land Use : A Case Study in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1029
Journal / PublicationSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Online published15 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes



In Hong Kong, reclamation is the main method for developing new land use areas as most country parks and mountains are protected under a land policy that emphasizes conservation for their high ecological value. Therefore, the land use for urbanized area in Hong Kong is limited, which has become an issue of concern. Hong Kong's population is increasing; however, the amount of available land use is insufficient to meet the demand. Developing a high density of buildings is one of the critical strategies of Hong Kong's government. Highly dense development may result in an urban heat island as well as health problems. In this study, we present an assessment of urban impervious surface changes in coastal megacities like Hong Kong based on satellite images. Landsat satellite images are employed to analyze urban impervious surface changes from 1995 to 2015 in coastal urban areas of Hong Kong. The results show that the increase of impervious surface area is almost the same as the increase in land reclamation area. This suggests that Hong Kong's land use policy, which underlines conservation for high ecological value and reclamation, may be able to maintain its sustainable development of coastal land use.

Research Area(s)

  • Coastal megacities, Hong Kong, Impervious surface, Satellite images, Sustainable land use

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