Abstract. Urban growth in developing countries like India is happening more than twice as fast as the population increase. Such rapid urban growth has resulted in urban sprawl characterized by low-density scattered development. Urban planners require a timely updated dataset and suitable tools to monitor the urban sprawl and ensure sustainable development. The present study uses Landsat data from 1999, 2009 and 2019 and socioeconomic data to study the urban sprawl characteristic of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) over two decades. The analyses show that MMR's built-up areas have expanded from 400 sq. km in 1999 to 761 sq. km in 2019, implying a 90% growth in the past two decades. While most municipal corporations have more than 60% of land covered by built-up areas, municipal councils are less saturated, with <30% built-up covers. With saturated land spaces within municipal corporations, higher growth rates are observed in the municipal councils. Also, the urban growth rates in these municipal councils outpace the population growth rate. The urban sprawl indices computed also suggest a continuous compact development within the municipal corporations while a continued sprawling within these fast-developing municipal councils. Mira Bhayandar is the most compact, while Bhiwandi Special Notified Area is the most sprawled urban area in MMR. The analyses show a clear indication of urban sprawl characteristics of the MMR. Many of these municipal councils are in the initial stages of development and lack appropriate governance to tackle rapid urbanization. Suitable policy measures that result in balanced urban growth can help ensure sustainable development.

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