Rajesh Sigdel

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. Gregory Veeck

Third Advisor

Dr. Laiyin Zhu


land use, land cover, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, remote sensing, urban

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Kathmandu Valley, located in Nepal, is the most rapidly growing demographic region in the country. With this demographic transformation, urban land is also expanding within the valley. It is important to understand the rate and extent of urban land cover change for effective land use planning. This study analyzed the urban land cover change in the Kathmandu Valley in 1990, 2006, and 2018 using remote sensing. It also analyzed the shift in the urban topography of the valley during the same period. Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 were used to study the transformation of urban land cover in the valley. A supervised maximum likelihood classification method was utilized for the delineation of the urban areas. A slope raster file was overlaid with urban land cover to understand the changing topography of the valley. This study found that the urban land cover of the valley increased by 227% between 1990 and 2018. The valley experienced an outward expansion of urban growth which emerged from the central business districts. Similarly, the results indicate that there is a noticeable shift in urban development in the valley, with development now expanding from the flat lands to steeper sloped areas. Historical developments, economic activities, political instability in the country, the centralized government, and the valley’s status as a hub of education and technology were identified as the key drivers of urban growth.

Included in

Geography Commons