Introduction

The conversion of land from nonurban to urban uses has significant social, economic, and environmental consequences. From the effects of increased automobile dependency to habitat fragmentation and altered hydro-logical regimes on social and ecological systems, a plethora of impacts are being observed at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Land-use models have been employed for more than three decades to understand the urbanizing landscape better, and recent advances in computer hardware and software have brought their utility to the forefront of planning, management, and decision-making activities. The increasing availability of digital data has enhanced the power and scope of these models, allowing for the consideration of social, economic, and ecological factors and the feedbacks among them. This article presents an overview of the principles and techniques of modeling land-use change and the need for an integrated multidisciplinary approach to understanding the consequences of land-use change over time.

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