Volume 2, Issue 6 (1-2012)                   2012, 2(6): 15-32 | Back to browse issues page

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An Analysis of Urban Sustainable Development in Sabzevar City Seyyed Hadi Hosseini  Assistant Prof., of Geography and Urban Planning, Hakim Sabzevari University Hossein Karimzadeh ssistant Prof., of Geography and Rural Planning, University of Tabriz Mohammad Mireh Assistant Prof., of Geography and urban planning, Payame Noor University Extended Abstract 1 . Introduction The Mankind not only is living in a world with accelerated urbanization, but also in a world of experimented unprecedented inequality and urbanized Poverty. The cities were and are world centers of financial and industrial activities and services and will be in future. They are centers of cultural variety, innovation and accumulating of assets, decision and struggle for democratic and social improvement. But, they are also centers of developing and intensifying poverty, social discrimination, violence, pollution and agglomeration. Increase of urban population in all over of world in the twentieth century along with the increasing role of cities in managing and planning of world policies in economic, political, social dimensions cause that debate of sustainable development be focused on urban sustainability and situation of urban areas to achieving sustainable development. The focus of sustainability debate on urbanization is largely by the fact that cities (especially mega-cities) are the major consumers of natural resources and the major producers of pollution and waste. Furthermore, the sphere of cities influences extended far beyond their territory. This means, that urban sustainability is the key of world sustainability. The purpose of this research is the analysis of important factors that cause Sabzevar could not be sustainable. Sabzevar locates in northeast of Iran and west of Khorasan Razavi province with 216524 population in 2006 census. More than 10 million pilgrims pass this city towards Mashhad and Emam Reza Annually. This city because of favorite relational position and historical context has a good potential for achieve to sustainability. Unfortunately, not having cognition of external and internal possibilities and potentials causes those urban managers not to be able to conduct urban sustainable development. Urban sustainable development is a contested concept with a wide range of meanings. The definition of the urban sustainability manifests itself in countless different forms depending upon the area’s history, culture, economic, climate, geography and politics structures. The concept of the sustainable city according to Rogers (1998) must recognize that the city needs to meet social, environmental, political and cultural objectives as well as economic and physical ones. Rogers elaborates by listing the key attributes of such a city to include equitable access to basic services, beauty in its art and architecture, creativity to optimize human potential, resource efficiency and minimal ecological impact, ease of contact, mobility, integrated and compact communities and diversity. 2- Theoretical Basis One of the dominant features of the twentieth century was the fast rate of urbanization. Cities, as the place where most people live, will be the main testing ground for sustainable development, both ecological sustainability and socio-economic progress. Nowadays, the concept of sustainable development has inscribed in itself the linkages of economy and environment because the societies base their growth in the extraction, transformation and consumption of natural resources. Therefore, sustainable development demands an integrated and interactive approach that allows for the understanding of the complex relationship between society and nature in respect of human rights, and assuming that environment is one vital dimension of the future of the human kind. Sustainable development entered the development discourse in the early 1970s and urban sustainable development entered the sustainable development discourse in the early 1995s and habitat II Conference. Nowadays, there is unanimity between scientists and scholars about status of cities in achieving global sustainability. But this apparent unanimity is misleading because there was no clear, agreed definition as to what the terms `sustainable cities’ and `sustainable human settlements’ mean. Such a diverse range of environmental, economic, social, political, demographic, institutional and cultural goals have been said to be part of `sustainable development’ that most governments or international agencies can characterize some of what they do as contributing towards sustainable development. Urban sustainable development is a contested concept with a wide range of meanings. The definition of the urban sustainability manifests itself in countless different forms depending upon the area’s history, culture, economic, climate, geography and politics structures. The concept of the sustainable city according to Rogers (1998) must recognize that the city needs to meet social, environmental, political and cultural objectives as well as economic and physical ones. Rogers elaborates by listing the key attributes of such a city to include equitable access to basic services, beauty in its art and architecture, creativity to optimize human potential, resource efficiency and minimal ecological impact, ease of contact, mobility, integrated and compact communities and diversity. 3- Discussion For analyzing Sabzevar urban sustainability at the first step, we chose 58 indicators and then categorized them in 5 dimensions including environmental, economic, social, physical and managemen. Environmental dimension includes 5 indicators, economic dimension includes 7 indicators, social dimension includes 23 indicators, physical dimension includes 19 indicators and management dimension includes 4 indicators. We used analytical hierarchy process (AHP) as analysis method. Our AHP models for analysis of Sabzevar urban sustainability was designed in four levels. Level one included the main and unique goal that research follows. This goal in this research is analysis of urban sustainability in Sabzevar city. The second level included criteria used for analysis of urban sustainability. These criteria were chosen with reviews of literature and theoretical basis. They included environmental, economic, social, physical and management dimensions. These criteria should be compared together concerning the main and unique goal. The third level included subcriteria that derived from second level criteria to help us in accurate analysis of urban sustainability. Subcriteria also should be compared together concerning the main research goal. The lowest level of model is fourth level that included alternatives. Alternatives in this research are quite sustainable, sustainable, semi sustainable, unsustainable and quite unsustainable. In this level, alternatives should be compared together concerning the subcriteria. When coefficients of criteria and subcriteria are based on the main research goals and also coefficients of alternatives concerning the subcriteria gained, for achieving the final coefficient or final weight, hierarchy composition principle was used. Results of computations derive preference vector gathering results of judgments in total levels. 4- Conclusion The findings of research indicated that Sabzevar on the basis of elected indicators is unsustainable. According to average of ultimate coefficients for quite unsustainable and unsustainable alternatives are 0/356 and 0/243, whereas ultimate coefficients for quite sustainable and sustainable alternatives are 0/123 and 0/122. In addition the results show that management dimension with 0/234 ultimate coefficient has had maximum unsustainability and environmental dimension with 0/044 ultimate coefficient has had minimum unsustainability. Mean of sustainability coefficients in all dimensions says that this city doesn't lies in favorite situation. The lack of unit management has been one of biggest problems in management and planning of Sabzevar. City council as an elected structure will be able to harmonize aims and plans of other organizations in urban development to avoid the confliction and contrast between them. Key Words: Sustainable Development, Urban Sustainable Development, AHP, Sabzevar 5- References  Badri, S.A and Eftekhari, A. (2006), Sustainability Evaluating, Concept and Method, Geographical Research Quarterly, No 69, PP 9-34.  Bahraini, S.h and Maknon, R. (2002), Urban Sustainable Development, from Idea to experiment, Journal of Environmental Studies, No 27, PP 41-60.  Bahraini, S.H and Tabibian, M. (1999), Evaluating Model of Urban Environment Quality, Journal of Environmental Studies, No 21, PP 41-56.  Beatley, T. and Kristy, M. 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Received: 05/Nov/12 | Published: 15/Jan/12