Study of Urban Land Cover Changes Relative to Demographic and Residential Form Changes: A Case Study of Wonju City, Korea

  • Han, Gab-Soo ;
  • Kim, Mintai
  • Received : 2015.04.16
  • Accepted : 2015.08.19
  • Published : 2015.11.30


In many very high density cities in Asia in which there is limited area to expand, growth is forced upward as well as outward. Densely packed detached houses and low-rise buildings are replaced by lower density high-rises, leaving open spaces between high-rise buildings. Through this process, areas that formerly did not have much green space gain valuable green spaces, and new ecological corridors and patches are created. In this study, the demographic and housing-type changes of Wonju City were delineated using land use maps, aerial images, census data, and other administrative data. Green area changes were calculated using land cover data derived from multi-year Landsat TM satellite imagery. The values were then compared against demographic and housing-type changes for each administrative unit. The overall results showed a decrease of forested area in the city and an increase of developed area. Urban sprawl was clearly visible in many of the suburban areas. However, as expected, we also detected areas in which greenness did not decrease when the population greatly increased. These areas were characterized by residential building complexes of ten or more stories. If an equal number of housing units had been built as detached houses, these areas would not have kept as much green space. Our research result showed that high-density and high-rise residential structures can offer an alternative means to protect or create urban green spaces in high-density urban environments.


Landsat TM data;land cover;population;housing type;high-rise


  1. Lee JY. 2012. Urban sprawl index and the factors affecting it: A comparison of Korea and China. Korean Gov Rev 19: 67-86.
  2. Lee NS, Suh KS. 2008. A study on the changing trends of community spaces in apartment complexes in the national capital from 1960s to 2007. J Korean Hous Assoc 19: 95-104. (in Korean with English abstract)
  3. Lee SK. 2010. Landscape assessment and interpretation in rural area through analysis of the physical housing environments- Focused on the province Gyeonggi. J Korean Inst Rural Archit 12: 65-74.
  4. Ok HS. 2000. A study on land use changes and population movements near Seoul: The case of Hanam city. J Stud Kangwon Community Culture 19: 149-165.
  5. Park HK, Seo YS. 2009. An analysis on the change process of urban spatial structure in Masan city. Urban Design 10: 5-18. (in Korean with English abstract)
  6. Pax-Lenney M, Woodcock CE, Macomber SA, Gopal S, Song C. 2011. Forest mapping with a generalized classifier and Landsat TM data. Remote Sens Environ 77: 241-250.
  7. Perry C. 1998. The Neighbourhood Unit (1929). Reprinted Routledge/Thoemmes, London.
  8. Shin GJ, Park SY. 1993. The changes of the apartment house in Korea. J Korean Living Sci Res 11: 93-145.
  9. Shin WS, Kim JJ, Kim WJ, Yoo RH, Lee BD. 2003. The influence of urban forests on job satisfaction and stress. J Korean For Soc 92: 92-99. (in Korean with English abstract)
  10. Suh EC, Kim YP. 2010. A time-series analysis of forest patch change difference by green trace of land cover classification indices. J Korean For Recreat 14: 93-98.
  11. Sohn SK, Kang GH. 2001. A study on the change in the characteristic of outdoor planning of Korean public apartment project. J Korean Housing Assoc 12: 1-8. (in Korean with English abstract)
  12. USGS. 2014. Accessed 15 May 2014.
  13. Wonju. 2015. Accessed 20 Feb 2015.
  14. Eum JH, Scherer D, Fehrenbach U, Woo JH. 2011. Development of an urban landcover classification scheme suitable for representing climatic conditions in a densely built-up Asian megacity. Landsc and Urban Plan 103: 362-371.
  15. Howard E. 2008. Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1898). Reprinted by Kessinger Publishing, Whitefish. MN.
  16. Hung WC, Chen YC, Cheng KS. 2010. Comparing landcover patterns in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Taipei using ALOS multispectral images. Landsc and Urban Plan 97: 132-145.
  17. Im JH, Kim HS. 2001. Preference for urban residence of people working in the CBD area. Hous Res J 12: 143-150. (in Korean with English abstract)
  18. Kang SH. 2000. Changes of land use pattern due to urbanization in Taejon Korea. Korean J Environ Ecology 14: 154-161.
  19. Kim GG. 1997. Planning and design theory in city park greenery: Creation of a green city. Seoul Natl Univ Press Inc., Seoul.
  20. Kim YH, Moon DI. 2011. A study on the changes in land use and the distribution characteristics of locational facilities in the downtown of a small town. J Korean Inst Rural Architecture 13: 55-62. (in Korean with English abstract)
  21. Korea Forest Service. 2007. Study on integrated composition and management of parks, green space and urban forest in the city. Daejeon.
  22. Kwon HG, Shin WS, Kim JJ. 2003. The identification and evaluation of urban forest benefits using Delphi survey method. J Korean For Soc 92: 355-361. (in Korean with English abstract)
  23. Kwon HG, Shin WS, Kim JJ. 2004. The comparison of use benefits based on types of urban forest. J Korean Inst For Recreat 8: 37-46. (in Korean with English abstract)
  24. Le Corbusier. 1980. The Radiant City: La Ville Radieuse (1935). Reprinted and translated by Industrial Book Press: Seoul.
  25. Choi WS. 1998. Change of land use pattern in metropolitan area of Seoul. J Econ Geographical Soc of Korea 1: 5-19.
  26. Chun HS, Oh MJ. 2013. A study on factors influencing residential satisfaction by elderly household types. J Korean Hous Assoc 24: 27-37. (in Korean with English abstract)
  27. Yang SH. 1995. Preferences and norms for multi-family dwellings of Korean households. J Korean Hous Assoc 6: 21-31.
  28. Yi H, Lee YH, Jeong SK, Park YM. 2008. The characteristics of temporal change of the apartment in Chongju city. J Inst Constructional Technol 27: 53-65. (in Korean with English abstract)
  29. Yoon JS, Lee CS. 2007. Theoretical approach of cultural housing transition and future housing prospects. Korea Real Estate Academy Rev 31: 255-264. (in Korean with English abstract)