Population growth and population inflow from other regions has caused urbanization which altered land use land cover (LULC) in the lower Himalayan regions of Pakistan. This LULC change increased the land surface temperature (LST) in the region. LULC and LST changes were assessed for the period of 1990–2017 using Landsat data and the support vector machine (SVM) method. A combined cellular automata and artificial neural network (CA-ANN) prediction model was used for simulation of LULC changes for the period of 2032 and 2047 using transition potential matrix obtained from the data years of 2002 and 2017. The accuracy of the CA-ANN model was validated using simulated and classified images of 2017 with correctness value of 70% using validation modules in QGIS. The thermal bands of Landsat images from the years 1990, 2002 and 2017 were used for LST derivation. LST acquired for this period was then modeled for 2032 and 2047 using urban indices (UI) and linear regression analysis. The SVM land cover classification results showed a 5.75% and 4.22% increase in built-up area and bare soil respectively, while vegetation declined by 9.88% during 1990–2017. The results of LST for LULC classes showed that the built-up area had the highest mean LST as compared to other classes. The future projection of LULC and LST showed that the built-up area may increase by 12.48% and 14.65% in 2032 and 2047, respectively, of the total LULC area which was ~11% in 2017. Similarly, the area with temperature above 30 °C could be 44.01% and 58.02% in 2032 and 2047, respectively, of the total study area which was 18.64% in 2017. This study identified major challenges for urban planners to mitigate the urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon. In order to address the UHI in the study area, an urban planner might focus on urban plantation and decentralization of urban areas.
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