Environmental Studies Program


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2019


This study will take place in Lincoln Nebraska to investigate population density and urban encroachment onto agricultural lands. With urbanization on the rise we will inevitably face land use issues in the future. This research will investigate one strategy on how to build the city of Lincoln while using agriculture as a focal point. Keeping land sparing techniques in mind as we build will be an important component to saving enough land to grow food, shelter, and clothing for a growing population. One important question that will be looked at in this research is how urban expansion has consumed agricultural lands. This study will view past Landsat images and compare them to current images from the National Agriculture Imagery Program to help visualize urban encroachment. Looking at data from a span of nineteen years, from 1999-2018 will show just how fast Lincoln has expanded in just under two decades. By collecting population density information from the state, it can give a better understanding of how to predict future growth. This research utilizes government websites and professionals in the field of urban development to help reorganize relevant information and imagery to depict urban growth onto agricultural lands. Building up rather than the current practice of building out will be a more expensive, but a more sustainable way to develop urban infrastructure. By doing this, developers and city planners will be able to slow the rate of urban encroachment onto agriculture. Implementing this land sparing technique will allow Lincoln Nebraska to become a model for sustainable growth and development.