Research on Urban Expansion and its effects in Ulaanbaatar

Ger-areas are spreading around the city-center.
People lives in “gers” (traditional and portable Mongolian residence) or detached house enclosed by “khashaas” (wooden fence) in ger-areas.
A high-resolution satellite image captures the spatial distribution of ger-areas.

Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, has grown over the last decade.Although Mongolia has abundant natural lands and traditional nomadic culture, its population is mainly concentrated in Ulaanbaatar where it drastically increased from 0.58 million in 1992 to over 1.0 million in 2007 due to migration.Owing to the dramatic transition from a planned economy to a free-market economy because of the collapse of the Soviet-backed regime in 1992, Mongolians are free from restrictions on internal migration and job selection. Consequently, many Mongolians in rural areas have migrated into urban areas, especially into Ulaanbaatar, to seek job opportunities and a better income, education and living environment. Many of residential plots have been rapidly developed in the peripheral area, called “ger-area”. Unrestricted developments of ger-areas progress because of the clash of two different frames for dealing with lands between the current master plan and the land reform policy. Thus, Ulaanbaatar is looking for the ways to prevent urban expansion and to build sustainable urban management.Our research group seeks to understand the urban expansion and its effects in Ulaanbaatar, using remote sensing & GIS. We analyze the spatio-temporal characteristics of the urban expansion to detect land cover changes in peri-urban areas by remote sensing and to build spatial models by GIS.

京都大学大学院 地球環境学堂 地域資源計画論研究室