Space-based Mapping and Assessment of a Three-decade Urban Landcover Dynamics towards a Smart Federal Capital City, Abuja, Nigeria

Innocent E. Bello *

ISSE/African University of Science and Technology, NASRDA, Airport Road, Abuja, Nigeria and Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria.

Umar Bala Usman

Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria.

Mahmud Abubakar

Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


A general notion from majority of researchers noted that connecting rural-urban services with Information Technology (IT), Internet of Things (IoT), Information Communication Technology (ICT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is making cities smarter. This is because, the global urban population is expected to grow by 63% between 2014 and 2050 – compared to an overall global population growth of 32% during the same period. The Federal Capital City (FCC), Abuja, Nigeria is no exception to urban population growth which requires IT, IoT, ICT and AI technologies if she must be regarded as a Smart City. This study was, therefore, aimed at mapping and assessing a three-decade urban dynamics of the FCC, Abuja, towards ascertaining the suitability of the FCC, Abuja being regarded as a Smart City. Three (3) epochs of Landsat ETM+ data from the US Global Land Cover Facility web platform was analyzed using the maximum likelihood algorithm to process the Remote Sensing images for thirty (30) years time period (2000, 2010, and 2020). The study shows that the urban builtup land cover increased significantly from 72.88 km2 (22.04%) in year 2000 to 145.77km2 (44.09%) in 2020. As the causative alteration of natural vegetation paved the way for urban infrastructure, the study re-affirms a corresponding effects on the decrease in light vegetation cover from 119.85km2 (36.25%) in 2000, to 29.24km2 (8.84%) in 2010, and down to as low as 13.49km2 (4.08%) in 2020. Other land covers also decreased due to population upsurge and physical urban developments. The findings confirm the suitability of the FCC, Abuja as an emerging Smart City as the study further revealed a number of efforts made to digitalized government services through e-governance. The total (overall) accuracy of the supervised classifications of LULC for 2000, 2010, and 2020 images were 97.3%, 99.2% and 99% respectively with corresponding strong positive Kappa statistics of 0.95, 0.99 and 0.97. It is recommended that Smart City initiatives anchored on digital hub tools such as IoT, AI and ICT; Remote Sensing; and GIS Technologies  be deployed in the ongoing and future city-wide development initiatives in order to fast track smart, smooth, effective and efficient service delivery in the FCC, Abuja, Nigeria.

Keywords: Smart city, LULC, urban dynamics, remote sensing, image processing

How to Cite

Bello , I. E., Usman , U. B., & Abubakar , M. (2022). Space-based Mapping and Assessment of a Three-decade Urban Landcover Dynamics towards a Smart Federal Capital City, Abuja, Nigeria. Asian Journal of Geographical Research, 5(4), 30–43.


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