Using the V–I–S fraction components, the spatial and temporal dynamics of each component can be easily depicted. The V–I–S components in municipal districts and metropolitan areas were extracted from the fraction images. The two graphs—one for the GTHA [Fig. 7(a)] and one for Tianjin [Fig. 7(b)]—reveal the patterns and processes of urban development in both areas. In the past 20 years, urban areas have experienced rapid growth. However, there is a great difference between the situations in the GTHA and Tianjin. For the GTHA, it mainly increased from 1985 to 1999. After 1999, only two municipal areas (Peel and Halton) and four cities (Brampton and Mississauga in Peel, Vaughan in York, and Burlington in Halton) have positive urban growth trends. In 1985, only Toronto had a high level of urbanization, while the other areas had relatively low urbanization levels. Thus, urban development in the GTHA could be regarded as having a monocentric pattern. After 1999, satellite cities or towns adjacent to Toronto, including Brampton and Mississauga in Peel and Vaughan in York, reached high levels of urbanization and became new urban centers. At the same time, other satellite cities or towns farther away from Toronto became subcenters. This could be called a multicentric urban pattern. Tianjin has experienced continuous rapid urban sprawl since 1985. Since 1999, the rate of urban sprawl has accelerated at the cost of soil and vegetation loss. In 1985, only the central district had a high level of urbanization, but in recent decades, the coastal area has developed into a new center (Binhai New Area). In the ternary diagram (Fig. 8) of the urban environment, all sites in the GTHA are near to the vegetation and impervious surface axes, while the ones in Tianjin are near to the soil (plus water) and impervious axes, which demonstrates the great differences between the two areas. In the 1980s, soil characteristics are clear for Tianjin due to the image acquisition date (May); impervious surface fractions at most sites in the GTHA are higher than in Tianjin in the 1980s and in 1999 but are lower in 2005. In addition, the impervious surface fraction for Tianjin is increasing at an accelerating rate all the time, while for the GTHA a point of inflexion has been passed. Finally, the GTHA has a high level of urban greenery, while in Tianjin it is very low.