This study examines the spatio-temporal pattern of urban growth in Benin City, Nigeria for a period of 26 years (1987-2013) using remote sensing data and geographic information systems techniques. It also analysed the factors driving the observed pattern of growth in the city. The results show that Benin City is growing more towards the north, east and south along the major transportation routes. The land use pattern in Benin City is compact and radial from the city centre while the growth pattern makes Benin City a monocentric city. The settlement expanded from 220 km2 in 1987 to 359 km2 in 2013 with a mean annual growth rate of 1.5%. The growth of Benin City is observed to be influenced by the siting of public institutions such as schools, hospitals, government offices and industries. While this study demonstrates the importance of using geospatial technology in the acquisition of data for urban planning and management, the results highlight the influence of infrastructure development on urban growth pattern.
Key words: Urban growth, spatial analysis, monocentric, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), Nigeria.