Mapping of GIS-Land Use Suitability in the Rural–Urban Continuum between Ar Riyadh and Al Kharj Cities, KSA Based on the Integrating GIS Multi Criteria Decision Analysis and Analytic Hierarchy Process
The management of land use in big cities and capitals and the surrounding adjacent urban aggregates is still of major importance in the field of urban development, especially in cities with populations of millions and various types of land uses and economic activities. The rural–urban continuum between the cities of Ar Riyadh and Al Kharj suffers from an unclear general land use trend, due to urban expansion at the expense of the agriculture lands, the imbalance of the population compound, the
... eterioration of the urban fabric, lack and poor distribution of services, and the dominance of industrial land use at the expense of other uses. These factors have led to an increase in environmental changes and loss of the environmental and ecological characteristics of this area between Ar Riyadh and Al Kharj. The present study aims at evaluating the land use suitability for urban development in the rural–urban continuum between Ar Riyadh and Al Kharj cities. This is achieved by using the GIS-based Multi Criteria decision Analysis (GIS-MCDA) on twelve various economic, environmental, urban, and law criteria. The weights of criteria were determined using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) method. The results of the spatial suitability map of the land use for sustainable urban development revealed that there are five categories of spatial suitability ranging in suitability from 32% to 86%. The recommended areas for sustainable urban development are those with a spatial suitability upwards of 70% in the rural–urban continuum corridor between Ar Riyadh and Al Kharj cities. The sustainable development in this corridor can be achieved by executing high priority projects that ensure and support the urban sustainable development plan through establishing four local urban development centers and upgrading four current villages to rural communities, aiming at strengthening the functional bonds between the rural communities and the local urban development centers. These projects will limit the sustainable urban development to specific areas without allowing random expansion, avoiding the urban conjugation of the two Ar Riyadh and Al Kharj cities through the connecting area between them.