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Measuring cities : a study of the development of Iranian urban sustainability assessment mechanisms from a UK perspective

Given the qualitative, exploratory and comparative nature of the investigation, this study has employed a mixed-methods approach. According to the conceptual framework of this research, the emphasis of the study is on mechanisms and interrelationships that affect the process and product of urban sustainability assessment. Accordingly, this study has concentrated on the identification of the urban sustainability indicators, data sources and assessment methods and their strategies and interests within the environmental, socio-cultural and economic contexts in which they operated. To this end, the study has enjoyed the insights from 64 participants including experts, scholars, practitioners as well as high-ranking officials across the ministries, municipalities and local authorities, through carrying out a questionnaire survey and conducting a series of semi-structured interviews in Iran. Due to a lack of established and well-documented data, it was initially required to find out what kinds of sustainability assessment methods have officially been used in Iran. This led the researcher to conduct a survey of Iranian local authorities and government departments. The findings of this survey were reviewed, discussed and compared to the UK sustainability assessment methods. As a result, the study suggests a detailed proposal for developing an urban sustainability assessment model in Iran including a comprehensive urban sustainability indicator set. The research also concludes that there is an urgent need for establishing a bottomup organisational structure in Iran to pursue the concepts of sustainable development and sustainability assessment within the public and private sector. The unique contribution of this study is that it has done a systematic research on the principles and frameworks of developing an urban sustainability assessment mechanism in Iran based on the UK experience and achievement in this area. It has also explored various weaknesses and barriers in the current Iranian urban planning and development system. Examining these barriers and weaknesses may form the demand and objectives of reforms in the current Iranian planning and development systems. Furthermore, the findings of this study provide insights into the issues that policymakers and practitioners need to consider in developing programs and efforts dealing with the problems of urban sustainability assessment. It will enhance the theory and literature within the knowledge bases of evaluation of urban sustainability in Iran tackling the existing issues and making suggestions which will depict the most appropriate way for the development of Iranian urban sustainability assessment mechanisms considering the three substantial pillars of sustainability: environment; society; and economy.
Date January 2018
CreatorsHakiminejad, Ahmadreza
PublisherUniversity of West London
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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