Quantifying Spatiotemporal Patterns of Past and Future Urban Trends in El Paso, TX and Their Impact on Electricity Consumption Using NLCD Data and the CA-Markov Model

Joanne Michelle Moyer, University of Texas at El Paso


As cities continue to grow, their urban form continues to evolve over. Understanding this evolution allows for planners, engineers, and decision makers to plan for a sustainable community. Change analysis was conducted for El Paso, Texas county to determine the areas of growth within the past 15-years (2001-2016). The results indicate that growth has primarily occurred within the city of El Paso, in particular Districts 5 (east side), 1 (west side), and 4 (northeast), with District 5 experiencing substantial growth. Developed sub-categories medium and High intensity experienced the fastest growth, which represents single-family housing and compact/commercial areas. However, landscape metrics indicate that the dominating land-use is single-family housing (low and medium intensity). Landscape metrics suggest as the districts continue to grow, fragmentation and shape irregularity of developed areas decrease. The metrics also indicate a diverse sub-category landscape, which may suggest mixed-use within developed areas. Using past growth trends, CA-Markov is employed to predict 2031 land-use. The counties’ projected growth is evenly contributed to El Paso city and outside city limits. Growth outside city limits is expected within Plan El Paso’s potential annexation areas (City of El Paso 2012), with the exception of projected growth adjacent to District 1. Similar trends for city growth are suggested in 2031 land-use, with Districts 1, 4, and 5 dominating the cities’ growth. The landscape metrics suggest as Districts 1 and 5 continue to expand, there is a decline in fragmentation. However, District 4 indicates an increase in fragmentation as the districts’ developed areas expand. Panel data analysis was performed to investigate the relationship between landscape metrics and electricity consumption. The results indicate that the developed mean patch area is positively correlated with consumption, provided the metric does not remain constant. The findings suggest that future growth continues to be directed within Districts 1 and 4, with fragmentation discouraged through city policies. The vast growth concentration within single-family housing should be redirected to compact housing within the high-intensity sub-category. Though these categories have experienced the fastest growth, high intensity comprises the smallest area of the districts’ landscape. Further research should be conducted to include metrics that describe the interconnection of developed patch areas and an increase in time observations to provide a better understanding of the landscape metrics and electricity consumption relationship.

Subject Area

Civil engineering|Land Use Planning|Urban planning

Recommended Citation

Moyer, Joanne Michelle, "Quantifying Spatiotemporal Patterns of Past and Future Urban Trends in El Paso, TX and Their Impact on Electricity Consumption Using NLCD Data and the CA-Markov Model" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28087997.