Impact of the Kunming–Bangkok Highway on Land Use Changes along the Route between Laos and Thailand

TitleImpact of the Kunming–Bangkok Highway on Land Use Changes along the Route between Laos and Thailand
Annotated RecordNot Annotated
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsZheng F, Huang J, Feng Z, Xiao C
Secondary TitleLand
Key themesConversion-FoodSecurity, Environment

Road construction fragments the landscape, reduces connectivity, and drives land use changes. To our knowledge, little is known about the scope and intensity of the effects of cross-border roads on changes in land use. Here, with the land use data products provided by the US Agency for International Development’s SERVIR Mekong project, using the GIS-based spatial analysis to quantitatively analyze and compare the effects of the cross-border road on land use changes within a 30 km buffer area along the Kunming–Bangkok Highway between Laos and Thailand. The results show the following: The greater the distance was from the highway, the smaller were the overall changes in land use within the buffer zone. A comparison of the situation before and after the road was opened in 2013 revealed significant differences in the most influential land use types of agricultural expansion, i.e., from 47.07% to 52.07% (the buffer zone was 1 km). In particular, 57.32% (1381.93 ha) and 40.08% (966.46 ha) of the land occupied by forests had been converted into land for plantation and agriculture, respectively, from 2013 to 2018. The scope of the impact of the operational route on the dynamics of land use was inconsistent. The largest impact before the road became operational was within 4 km of the buffer zone (0.26 to 0.24). Once the road had been opened, the range of its impact was beyond 10 km (0.63 to 0.57). The work here can provide a scientific basis for regional transportation planning and the sustainable use of land resources.


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Laos, Thailand

Document Type

Journal Article