Modelling of Informal Settlement Growth with Satellite Data in Latakia City,Syria

Yahya Ghassoun, Manfred Buchroithner


Due to social, economic and political reasons, informal settlements are considered as a challenging problem in the third world countries. These create problems to the society and to the local government. The present study aims to discuss informal settlements of Latakia city (Syria) during 1970 and 2005 using satellite data. Where based on all the information available, until today the present study is the first one carried out in Syria concerning the development of informal settlements. In this study, we put a headline to solve the informal settlement problem in Latakia city by achievement 4 goals: • INCORPORATION: This goal requires that the inhabitants of an informal settlement are recognized as full citizens of the city, town or village with which they are associated.• IMPROVEMENT: This goal requires an integrated approach to development, that seeks to meet the most important needs of the whole community. It also requires that those needs and priorities are determined by all the stakeholders. The choice of strategies also requires an inclusive process that takes all factors into account. • DEVELOPMENT: The vital elements of this goal are the provision of opportunities and encouragement. • PLANNING: This goal includes, Anticipate the future. Identification and addressing the implications for the informal settlements in a comprehensive manner. We suggested 4 guiding principles to achieve the previous goals: • Integration: Considering the informal settlements as a part of the whole city, is a very important point in the integration process. • Participation: Participation of people and groups of people with the local authority effectively in a process. • Communication: communication is the exchange of thoughts, messages, information and meeting between people and the authority. • Minimum relocation: is to provide the people with opportunities to stay and settle, because every move is disruptive and costly. Also in the present study, dynamics of change in land use/land cover and their impact have been studied. The satellite data (Landsat, IRS, and CORONA) have been used. This study shows significant classes (Trees, Grass, Buildings, Water, Vacant, Roads) in the land use/land cover which are found to change significantly during 1970 and 2005. Also rapid growth of informal settlements have been observed. Remote sensing images have been handled using GIS system to visualize the dynamics of the changes in land use/land cover. Finally the physical situation of the informal settlement has been studied and has been organized in three categories (Good, Medium and bad).


Syria; Informal Settlements; Change Vector Analysis; Post Classification

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