Cities' influence on the spatial configuration of land in their proximity has presumably changed during the last century as agriculture, cities, and transportation evolved. Investigation of these changes has been limited due to the limited availability of historical maps in digital form. In this chapter, we employ a set of digitized historical land-cover maps in order to compare the spatial distribution of cropland, pasture, and nature surrounding cities in the Netherlands for three time periods: 1900, 1960 and 1990. Our findings suggest that the land cover around cities was relatively stable during these time periods. However, we discovered that, near the perimeter of cities, in 1900, we could discern a clear trend of higher fractions of cropland. These tendencies weakened by the middle of the century and almost completely ceased by 1990.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)