Challenges and problems of planning the development of rural settlements in the urban limited of Tehran metropolis based on the perception of local managers and experts

Document Type : Thesis Article


1 Department of geography. Faculty of Literature and Humanities, kharazmi university, Tehran.Iran.

2 department of human geography- faculty of geographical sciences-kharazmi university

3 Department of Geography,Faculty human and literature , Kharazmy University .



Since the beginning of the 21 century, the traditional environment of the village is rapidly changing economically, socially and culturally. Due to rapid urban development, boundaries between urban and rural areas are hard to distinguish. Rural settlements around metropolitan areas, are transitional zone between urban and natural-ecological environments, where city, agriculture, rurality and nature meet. Urban expansion creates different sprawl models in between rural and urban transitions zones that require careful evaluation due to their multiple features and potentials of rural-agricultural-natural intersection boundaries. The new landscapes created around the cities have been defined with different terms such as the edge of the city, the periphery of the city, the suburbs of the city, urban village, etc. In Iran, the studies conducted, showed in the villages which have been changed the economic and social functions in the process of urban sprawl, rapid changes and the unpredictability of land use, have been a serious problem. Agricultural lands were transformed into residential, service and commercial lands with the expansion of urbanization. They have many facilities, limitations, threats, opportunities and challenges due to their proximity and physical-spatial dependence with the city, which distinguish them from other villages in the country. Many of them, have a residential function , because of daily commute of residents to the metropolises for using job opportunities, services, facilities, and infrastructures. The population growth of rural areas around the metropolis confirms the residential function of them. According to the published statistics of the general population and housing census, the growth of the population of these villages is higher than the average growth of the population of other rural areas of the country. Therefore, their development process have been overshadowed. Despite, these areas have been faced with different challenges in the process of development planning, less have been deliberate from view of local activists. So, the aim of current research is to investigate the perception of local management and experts of rural development towards planning development of rural settlements around Tehran metropolis.


The research approach is interpretive and research method is qualitative. Statistical population were 273 village located in the urban limited Tehran metropolis, local management of villages and rural development experts. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with 15 people local expert and 17 people local management that have been selected by purposive sampling and multistage cluster sampling. Data analysis was done using qualitative content analysis method. The reliability of the findings was obtained using the Holsti coefficient method.


Based on the findings of the research, it was concluded that; the weakness of institutional structures, homogenization, weakness of attention to strategic action, weakness of attention to integrated urban-rural development, lack of attention to community-centeredness, weakness of monitoring and evaluation system, spread of identity-structural conflicts and reduction of quality of life are the most important problems planning the development of rural settlements in the urban limited of Tehran metropolis.


The discovery of effective mechanisms on the planning of the development of rural settlements around the metropolis of Tehran indicates that the absence of integrated urban-rural planning has led to failure to prepare a comprehensive rural plan under the functional area of the city of Tehran. Therefore, efficient planning of rural development does not occur in mutual relation with other settlements in the metropolitan area. On the other hand, due to the villages are not managed by a single organization, do not have constructive economic interactions with other settlements located within the metropolis that have been caused economic isolation and failure to benefit from the economic capacities of villages. The current rural development plan (rural master plan) plans with the uniform framework for villages with different populations and diverse identities, structures, functions and needs, so, real needs of people, are not met and they suffer from a lack of facilities and services. Also, due to the dynamism and continuous evolution of these villages, their development process and economic patterns do not match the standard framework (rural master plan). So, those have faced with the growth of informal development patterns such as illegal constructions, which has severely degraded the quality of life and the identity-structural. In addition, in Iran, the inefficient structure of rural development, has caused the juridical- legal structures and organizations responsible of rural development, to not have necessary efficiency for rural development and planning process is not participatory and community-oriented.


Weakness of institutional structures and homogenization, which are planning procedures, are more important and effective. Therefore, while affecting other challenges and procedural problems, in a dialectical relationship, they have caused content challenges such as identity-structural conflicts and the reduction of the quality of life in the villages of the urban limited of Tehran metropolis.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 26 May 2024
  • Receive Date: 15 May 2023
  • Revise Date: 16 May 2024
  • Accept Date: 26 May 2024