The MOLAND methodology adopts earth observation techniques combined with geoprocessing tools and statistical data to monitor environmental and morphological changes in urban areas. The methodology is an aid to understanding urban development processes as well as a tool for planning. The MOLAND methodology provides detailed territorial information at a regional scale, enabling development agencies accurately to derive specific environmental indicators, and to improve existing urban sustainability indicators. This article describes the kinds of information that can be produced with the MOLAND methodology, efforts to develop comparable data series over time in different locations, and applications of these data to planning tasks involving population growth, mobility and security, strategic and environmental impact assessment on a large scale, and urban sprawl. Recent experiences in applying the methodology to Eastern European and Third World cities are discussed.
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