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Remote sensing for resources development and environmental management
Damen, M. C. J.

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.