Investigating the Drivers of Rural Agricultural Land use Change to Villa Gardens: A Case Study of South Baraan and Kararaj Rural Districts in Isfahan County

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Geography Department, Social Sciences Division, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran.

2 MA in Geography and Rural Planning, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


We have investigated the drivers of agricultural land use change to villa gardens in South Baraan and Kararaj rural districts in Isfahan County. Questionnaires were distributed among 184 farmers randomly selected from 426 in five selected villages. As the results showed, among spatial (i.e. environmental, economic, and social) drivers, environmental drivers (including dehydration) had the greatest impact. Social drivers, including the prevalence of constructing second homes and increasing demand in the land market, and economic drivers, including high agricultural inputs, were in the next ranks. The study of managerial drivers suggested that the interference of government in the agricultural market was a major driver in land use change. The same questionnaire was taken by 30 different land use experts selected by the snowball method. The results showed that, among locational-spatial drivers, social drivers had the greatest and economic drivers had the least impact on land use change. Also, among social drivers, the most effective factor was the purchase of land and construction of second homes. Among environmental drivers, the most effective factor was the cut-off of the Zayandehrud River. Of economic drivers, the most effective one was the higher income of tourism land use. Finally, the most effective management drivers were the poor monitoring, administrative corruption, and the ploy of some employees in government institutions. In the examined conditions, the farmers had little tendency to continue farming activities. This was strengthened by the shift of land use to more productive and less cumbersome activities.


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