Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Robert Q Hanham


This research examines the relationship between remotely sensed land-use changes and particular land-use policies within metropolitan Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1992 to 2002. During the 1990's the Pittsburgh region experienced a tremendous expansion of residential and urban land-use change while simultaneously experiencing a population decline. Within the metropolitan Pittsburgh area there are 525 local and independent municipal governments with the legislative right to enact or not to enact land-use planning policies enabled by the Pennsylvania Municipal Planning Code. This fragmentation creates uneven intra-urban development patterns at the urban scale. This research demonstrates that certain land-use changes that occurred during the study period share statistical relationships with certain land-use policies in the study area. The procedure to identify these relationships was twofold. First, a change detection analysis (CDA) of remotely sensed images of Pittsburgh acquired by Landsat satellites in October of 1992 and 2002 was conducted in order to determine the quantitative and spatial extent of land-use change within each municipality in the study area. The second step involved a logistic regression model used to determine the likelihood of the presence or absence of individual planning tools for each type of land-use change. The four planning tools examined in this research were, (1) a comprehensive plan, (2) zoning ordinance, (3) subdivision regulation, and (4) a planning commission. Results of this analysis are reported in terms of the global coefficients and the local characterization of some individual municipalities.