LAND-USE CHANGE IN NEW MOSCOW:FIRST OUTCOMES AFTER FIVE YEARS OF URBANIZATION
Urbanization coincides with remarkable environmental changes, including conversion of natural landscapes into urban. Moscow megapolis is among the largest urbanized areas in Europe. An ambitious New Moscow project expanded the megapolis on extra 1500 km2 of former fallow lands, croplands and forests. The research aimed to monitor land use changes in New Moscow between 1989 and 2016 years. Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 images (30 m spectral resolution) and Sentinel - 2 images (10 m spectral resolution) were analyzed. All the images were collected for the similar summer period (from June to August). The images were preprocessed and classified by Semi-Automatic Classification Plugin in open source QGIS software to derive land cover maps. The following land cover classes were identified: water, built-up areas, bare soils, croplands and forested areas, and the total area covered by each class was estimated. The following land-use change pathways were reported: 1) reduction of the forested areas by 2.5% (almost 2000 ha) between 1989 and 1998; 2) partial reforestation (more than 1000 ha) and abandonment of croplands (more than 3000 ha) between 1998 and 2010 and 3) intensive urbanization (more than 11000 ha) between 2010 and 2016. New build-up areas and infrastructures were constructed on former forested areas and croplands. Although, some uncertainties in the absolute estimates are expected due to the classification errors, the general urbanization trend can be clearly distinguished as a principal outcome after the five years of New Moscow project.