Urban Growth of the Montgomery, Alabama, Area

Montgomery, the capital of Alabama, is located along the Alabama River in the south central portion of the state. 

In the past 30 years the population has grown from just under 125,000 to over 200,000. The growth has been based on increased tourism and commercial and industrial development. For example, Hyundai automobile manufacturing has located in Montgomery and is now a major employer. 

These Landsat images show the area of Montgomery and nearby Prattville (northern urban area across the river) in 1986 and again in 2011. The change in land use from forested and croplands to urban and industrial areas can be seen by comparing the two images. 

In recent years city officials implemented an ecosystem analysis project utilizing Landsat data to assess the tree cover changes through the years. The changing land use has been a major factor in altering regional air quality, crop production, and lumber production.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012