Global urban growth between 1870 and 2100 from integrated high resolution mapped data and urban dynamic modeling
Long term, global records of urban extent can help evaluate environmental impacts of anthropogenic activities. Remotely sensed observations can provide insights into historical urban dynamics, but only during the satellite era. Here, we develop a 1 km resolution global dataset of annual urban dynamics between 1870 and 2100 using an urban cellular automata model trained on satellite observations of urban extent between 1992 and 2013. Hindcast (1870-1990) and projected (2020-2100) urban dynamics under the five Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) were modeled. We find that global urban growth under SSP5, the fossil-fuelled development scenario, was largest with a greater than 40-fold increase in urban extent since 1870. The high resolution dataset captures grid level urban sprawl over 200 years, which can provide insights into the urbanization life cycle of cities and help assess long-term environmental impacts of urbanization and human-environment interactions at a global scale.