How does land use policy modify urban growth? A case study of the Italo-Slovenian border
This study examines the impact of land use policy variations on urban growth in a transborder region. A primary analysis is conducted using multitemporal maps and satellite imagery for the adjacent cities of Gorizia, Italy, and Nova Gorica, Slovenia, twin towns historically trapped on a political border, a line that has changed in its degree of separation from extreme during the Cold War to minimal today. The SLEUTH land use change model is calibrated and used for forecasting land use change from 2005 to 2040. The model is run under three different scenarios, once for the whole area and twice independently for the two sides of the border, allowing a comparison of the resulting differences. The validation of the results shows that both the cities are growing independently and that territorial cohesion has no impact on change in land use pattern of the region. To plan for a sustainable future, it is invaluable to be able to successfully demonstrate policy impacts via computer modeling, simulation, and visualization and to use the forecasts within decision and planning support systems.