The concentration of people in urban areas especially in developing countries, calls for the need for monitoring systems like Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System (GIS). This research presents formal approaches to the application of Remote Sensing and GIS in the estimation and projection of Settlement Pattern Change in Chikun Local Government Area (LGA) between 1990 and 2014, extracting the information on the extent, trends of the changing settlement and also factors responsible for these changes. Statistical classification approaches were used for the classification of the remotely sensed imageries obtained from various sensors viz. Landsat TM1990, 1998, 2006 and 2014. The general trends in land cover change were identified and summarized, the settlement pattern, its spatial and temporal characteristics have been derived from the classified satellite images. The results showed that the study area experienced rapid growth in built-up areas increasing from 13.542 km2 to 590.486 km2 between 1990 and 2014 with an annual rate of change of 49.98 km2. Vegetation cover on the other hand is on the constant decline, decreasing from 3257.516 km2 to 1851.616 km2 between 1990 and 2014, with an annual change rate of 83.37 km2. Socio-demographic characteristic of the study area showed rapid inflow of people into the study area, majority who are Christians and are mostly civil servants who are 40 years of age and above, settle there because of the general security challenges been experienced in the state and the relative cheap nature of the area. The rapid population growth and changes in settlement over time have led to the development of a compact/clustered/nucleated settlement pattern. Government may therefore need to develop policies to maintain the land for future use, an absence of any land use planning may lead to land degradation. The wisdom lies in how effectively we plan the urban growth without hampering the natural resources and disturbing the rural setup. Thus it is, essential to review the conventional planning methods and introduce innovative measures like geo-information technologies in this regard.
Keywords: LAND USE, LAND COVER, SETTLEMENT PATTERN