Full text: Remote sensing for resources development and environmental management (Volume 1)

Symposium on Remote Sensing for Resources Development and Environmental Management / Enschede / August 1986 
Explorations of the enhanced FCC 1:100.000 for development 
planning Land-use identification in the Nairobi area 
F.Grootenhuis & H.Weeda 
Nairobi, Kenya 
Landplan, Nairobi, Kenya 
The objective of this study was to explore the information content of the LANDSAT image at 
1:100.000 scale regarding the existing land-use. The visual interpretation of the readily 
available LANDSAT image produced a land-cover map at 1:1M scale of the Nairobi area (Grooten- 
huis, Weeda & Kalambo 1986a). The zones of the land-cover map were transferred to the print 
photographically enlarged to scale 1:100.000. Fieldwork was carried out to establish the loca 
tion and the character of the mapping unit boundaries. Through field checks and background 
information, different land-use units were identified within the land-use zones. The relative 
distribution of the units was recorded. The representative cross-sections and block diagrams 
show the existing interaction between man and his environment. 
Comprehension of the spatial distribution and use of the existing land resources is essential 
to integrated planning for development. The land-use map at the scale of 1:100.000 overlain 
on the LANDSAT image provides an integrated data source which permits the planner to evaluate 
and assess field data in relation to visible bio-physical patterns. This is of great value in 
the formulation and implementation of landscape policies. 
Planning for development will have to deal 
with two major problems: i.e. the need for 
more space and more production (Thimberlake 
1985). The landscape planner's design ex 
presses a view on the balance between the 
impact of continuous changing needs and the 
"carrying capacity of nature" (McHarg 1969). 
This capacity can be defined as the level to 
which the environmental conditions allow the 
exploitation of natural resources (Tolba 1982) 
The interaction between the environmental 
factors is reflected in the way land is used 
at a particular moment. Therefor, a map of 
the existing situation is an important tool 
for landscape planning (Duchhart 1986) 
This paper describes the information that 
could be drawn from a photographic print of 
LANDSAT image at the 1:100.000 scale to com 
pile a land-use map at the same scale. 
The study has been undertaken as a follow up 
of the Extended Training Course on Remote 
Sensing and Rangeland at the Regional Remote 
Sensing Facility (RRSF) in Nairobi, Kenya 
(October 1983 to March 1984) 
The Nairobi region with its complex land 
scape was chosen as the area for the study, 
covering approximately 60 km x 60 km. The 
boundaries extend from Limuru to Athi River 
and from Ngong Hills to Thika excluding the 
Gregory Rift Valley (Figure 1). 
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya and 
the fastest growing and most influential city 
in Eastern Africa. The population growth over 
the period 1984-1988 is expected to be 7,6% 
per annum,including 2,6% as a result of ru 
ral-urban migration (Government of Kenya 
1983). This implies that the population will 
double in 10-12 years. The demands for hou 
sing, services, work, water, food and energy 
are increasing rapidly. 
Located on the edge of the slopes of the 
Aberdares and the Athi-Kapithi Plains, Nairo 
bi manifests a variety of land-use conflicts. 
Some of these are inherent in the location 
at the interface between the pastoral socie 
ties developed on the plains and the agri 
cultural societies developed in the highlands, 
others are more complex conflicts resulting 
from the many possible uses of productive 
land in a metropolitan area. 
2.1 Materials 
The study was limited to readily available 
materials. A photographic enlargement at 
1:100.000 scale of LANDSAT false colour com 
posite (FCC) transparencies for the Nairobi 
area formed the basis for this study. The 
study area is shown on LANDSAT images 180/61 
of January 24th, 1976 and 181/61 of January 
25th, 1976. A black and white print of band 
Figure 1. Location of the study area.

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