Modeling Urban Growth and the Impacts of Climate Change: The Case of Esmeraldas City, Ecuador

Carlos F. Mena, Fátima L. Benitez, Carolina Sampedro, Patricia Martinez, Alex Quispe, Melinda Laituri

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

4 Citas (Scopus)


This research has been developed in the city of Esmeraldas, which is one of the poorest urban centers of Ecuador. Historically, the economic dynamics of the city have been related to the extraction of natural resources, but little has been invested in local populations. The objectives of this paper are, first, to create a predictive scenario of urban growth linked to future climate projections for Esmeraldas, with a focus on vulnerability to landslides and flooding; and second, to generate methodological advances related to the linkage between urban growth simulation and the downscaling of global models for climate change. This paper is based on spatially explicit simulation, Cellular Automata (CA), to capture the dynamics of urban processes. CA is linked to the analysis of vulnerability to climate change based on socioeconomic conditions and is focused on flooding-and landslide-exposed areas. We found that the proportion of Afro-Ecuadorian people and the risk of landslides and flooding are positively related to urban growth. Based on our future scenarios, the urban growth area in Esmeraldas will increase 50% compared to the year 2016. Moreover, if the existing trends continue, natural vegetation—including mangroves—will be removed by that time, increasing the vulnerability to climate change.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo4704
PublicaciónSustainability (Switzerland)
EstadoPublicada - 1 abr. 2022


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