For the Indian context there has been limited study of the interlinked impacts of urbanization on natural infrastructure. In this new study by WRI India we trace the changes to the built footprint (built-up area) and impacts on blue cover (surface water), green cover changes (vegetation) and the groundwater recharge potential. For the 10 most populated cities in India we analyze satellite imagery to study the core city (0-20 km) and peripheral city (20-50 km) regions and the changes between 2000 and 2015.
Urban development in all forms impacts the natural landscape, changing vegetation cover, infiltration rates and hydrological (surface and sub-surface) flows. With increasing urbanization urban areas lose a host of natural infrastructure and ecosystem services as ecosystems are modified, degraded and/ or shrunk. Benefits such as flood control, aquifer replenishment, microclimate control, improved air quality are diminished, increasing the risks faced by urban dwellers.