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Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying, University of Agriculture in Krakow
Katarzyna Cegielska   

Department of Land Management and Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying, University of Agriculture in Krakow, ul. Balicka 253c, 30-149 Kraków
Publication date: 2019-04-30
Acta Sci. Pol. Formatio Circumiectus 2018;17(3):39–54
The dynamic urbanization process, which results from widespread anthropogenic transformation, affects landscape changes. These changes, measured using various factors and indices, are the subject of research around the world. The purpose of the present work was to analyse the spatial structure of anthropogenic elements of land cover. On the basis of the landscape metric – the MSI index (Mean Shape Index), the geometry configuration of individual land cover elements was checked. A Kernel Density tool was used to create a map of the elements of density distribution. The information thus obtained about the surface of anthropogenic elements of land cover expressed in [m2], per 1 km2 of space, made it possible to indicate the location of areas most transformed by human activity. The area of research encompassed urban municipalities – of Tarnów and Nowy Sącz. As the source material, the vector layer of land cover was used (BDOT10k –Topographic Objects Database), which was reclassified into 11 new categories. The GIS (Geographical Information System) tools available in the QGIS and ArcGIS software were used for the purpose of the analysis. Based on the conducted studies, it was found that despite a similar percentage of anthropogenic elements of land cover, the studied areas show a different character in terms of their spatial distribution and complexity of their geometry. In the case of Nowy Sącz, small point enclaves of areas showing high density of anthropogenically transformed surfaces were observed. These surfaces are characterized by a considerable degree of dispersion but a small degree of geometrical complexity. In the city of Tarnów, the research we conducted showed a different tendency due to the much larger size of the aforementioned enclaves. Tarnów is characterized by a higher share of developed areas in the city centre, whereas Nowy Sącz is more uniform in the growth of such areas in particular density zones. Moreover, in Tarnów, along with the increase in the density of the anthropogenic land cover, the complexity of the geometry of land cover elements decreases, whereas in the case of Nowy Sącz, the value of the MSI landscape metric is proportionally inversed.