Modelling the spatial dynamics of urban growth and land use changes in the north coast of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Spatial modelling is a resourceful approach largely used in land use planning and occupation dynamics. The use of land change and urban growth simulations are indispensable for supporting the development and implementation of urban planning policies. This paper develops potential scenarios of land use change (status-quo and law enforcement) and urban occupation in the north coast of São Paulo using spatial dynamics modelling. Cellular automata-based modelling and EGO Dynamic simulations were used to produce past and future scenarios of land use occupation and growth expansion. These scenarios are compared between them and with vulnerability maps to identify areas at risk. The outcomes show that the north coast of São Paulo is highly vulnerable to expansion of irregular occupations when regulations are not enforced. Forest areas are the first areas to be suppressed by an unsystematic urban development. The extent to which people are exposed to environmental and climatic changes is influenced by urban infrastructure developments and decision making regulations. Findings of this work can guide future planning decisions on such as the revision of the ecological-economic zoning and local land use plans.