The Measurement and of Sustainability Assessment of Tehran Metropolitan Rural Areas



There is a wide transformation achieving to sustainable development terms. Sustainable development is not a new concept but it shows the process of transformation of social, economic and natural systems. At the end of 1987s a new paradigm, called sustainability, concluded that scientific evidence demonstrated rapid destruction of air, water, species of flora and fauna, deserts, forests and other ecosystems as well as overuse of natural resources. The Brundtland Commission Report thrust the concept of “sustainable development” into the mainstream of world debate, as the only manner to confront the twin problems of environmental degradation and necessary economic development. The commission’s report defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. According to the sustainability paradigm, no single sphere should be allowed to dominate a development decision. In fact, each of the spheres should be taken into equal consideration prior to any economic decision. Sustainable development is not envisaged as an ‘end in itself,’ but as a continuous process of development, which leads simultaneously to the improvement of economic, social and environmental goals adopted by each society. New concept of sustainable development has been holistic and includes all aspects of social, economic, cultural and other human needs. In other word, which is the most important attractions in sustainable development, is the holistic view. These terms were as basic concepts in scientific debates during the late of 20th century and affected most of the human contexts such as poverty, inequity, education, sanitation, environment, women and children laws, as well as industry, policy, economic and international cooperation and have a unique solution for the challenges threat the mankind lifes. This approach has been selected as a scale to measure the amount of sustainability. In Iran most of the studies concentrated the rural sustainability' or concentrated in non metropolitan areas. But because of accumulating of nearly to 15 percent of population in Tehran metropolitan areas’ it seems it is needed to study sustainability of this arena. Rural Metropolitan areas are such ones, which have been given different appearances to their rural centers by differed settlemental relationship systems and the presence and flows of forces originating from metropolitan poles. In other words, the main centers of accumulation of market forces in the world - both in developed countries and developing ones - are metropolitan areas which make their neighbor rural areas affected by impact forces and processes and give them distinctive and different socio-cultural, economical and environmental features that make them different from non-metropolitan rural areas. There fore in this study, according to the above mentioned features, going to analysis the role of metropolitan forces process on sustainability or unsustainability of rural settlements that are influenced by these forces and trends, and made distinguish them from other rural areas.
Do metropolises make rural sustainable or not? What differences are between small and large cities in the context of rural sustainability?

The studies in this research, due to its nature, based upon descriptive and analytical methods. In this study, the required data and information were gathered through extensive survey questionnaires and documentary methods. The whole villages entered in Tehran and Alborz province boundaries which include exceeded 900 villages with 1161935 population considered as rural metropolitan areas make the objective of this study. For selecting sample villages, the study areas divided to 16 sections and 2 villages have been selected as sample villages in each section. Among the sample villages to 480 households have been selected by systematic random methods to fill the questionnaires.

For measuring the sustainability level of villages, it is needed to classify row data in various aspects of environmental, social, economic and physical dimensions. Several stages are processed as follows:
1- Preparation of the raw indexes tables;
2- Preparation of coordinated indexes;
3- The equivalent indexes table;
4- Preparation of the final indexes.
In order to evaluate both the environmental and social components of sustainable development simultaneously, the barometer of sustainability has been developed. It consisted of two components, namely ecosystem well-being and human well-being, that both have to be improved for achieving sustainable development.

The results of this article show that the metropolitan areas despite of accumulation of population, economic, finance and other resources not only cause to sustainability of their rural but make them unsustainable. The results also show that with increasing distance from the center of Tehran metropolis, the environmental sustainability in rural settlements increases too, but social and economic and physical sustainability decreased.