Akure became the administrative headquarters of Ondo State, Nigeria in 1976 and since then, it has witnessed rapid developmental changes in terms of physical landscape, city growth and urban sprawl. These agents of Land Use and Land Cover Changes (LULCC) are capable of creating environmental problems such as transportation, land degradation, pollution among others. This study analyses the effects of urban expansion in Akure using Remote Sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques to detect changes that have occurred in land use and land cover from 1985 to 2015; subsequently, the implications on the environment. Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) types were identified in this study and the features were classified using maximum likelihood classification by assigning training samples to the features. The features on the image were grouped into four different classes based on their spectral signatures and the grouping was done for the January images of Landsat 5 (TM), Landsat 7 ETM+ and Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS for year 1985, 2000 and 2015 respectively. The four classes used are built-up area, vegetation, bare land and rock outcrops/wet land. The total area covered by each land use class in each year was generated using the field calculator of ArcGIS 10.5. The results showed changes in LULC of Akure. The changes observed in 1985, 2000 and 2015 on the four classes are: built up: 1.51%, 4.92%, 18.27%, vegetation: 81.08%, 70.60%, 56.72%, wetland and water body: 8.87%, 22.66%, 8.52% and bared surface: 8.56%, 1.82% 16.5% respectively. The increase in the built area and its concomitant decrease in the vegetation cover was due to conversion of natural vegetative surfaces to settlements and impervious surfaces. This study calls on the planners, the local and state government to form a basis for better planning and enforcement of the planning code for Akure in order to prevent the haphazard expansion of the city.
Key Words: Urban Growth, Land Use, Built-Area, Vegetation, Geospatial Technique, Akure