Analysis of Resettlement Consequences: An Ethnography in Lerini Olya and Lerini Sofla Villages
The main purpose of displacement plan is to dwell the residents of high-risk areas into the safe regions with the aim of improving their economic, physical, social, and environmental situations. These plans often have desirable and undesirable consequences that affect the target groups. Examining these consequences is especially important in the less successful projects based on the idea of learning-from-the-past. The main purpose of the study was to analyze the displacement consequences in Lerini Olya and Lerini Sofla villages in Iran. This qualitative study employed the critical ethnographic methodology. The critical approach in the study emphasizes that the residential displacement in Lerini village may have done subject to the will of the authorities’ planning system. The population of the study was consisted of the residents of Lerini Olya and Lerini Sofla villages who have experienced the resettlement. Data were gathered by individual semi-structured interviews technique and participant observation and were collected through purposive sampling to reach theoretical saturation and after that were analyzed through coding and conceptualization. The results revealed that the resettlement process was not successful because of the undesirable locating that in turn had led to the undesirable economic, physical, social and environmental consequences. The steep slope has led to the increased construction costs increasing villagers' debts due to reliance on building mortgages and bank loans and uncompleted houses has made financial and economic issues more important than displacement itself. Decrease of intimacy among the residents due to the distance between houses, difficulties of access to the agricultural lands and concerns about product protection in the villagers' remarks was the other issues among the many. Also, the lack of standards in the size of the residential units for animal livestock led to the livestock slums in the corners of the dwellings and in some cases led to the sale of livestock and migration. The results of the study showed that the displacement was due to function of two categories. The first and the main category was the difficulty of construction and the development constraints in the previous place. The second cause was based on the people will to shift. So the main cause of the displacement was natural. But the participants believed that their demands did not affect the resettlement plan and it was carried out without regarding stockholders’ desire. Planning from top to down and the lack of people's participation in the process of displacement provided negative and challenging perceptions and prevented the proper implementation of the policy. A different understanding of needs and a heterogeneous interpretation of concepts are other important issues that can have adverse effects in displacement. Generally, the economic and social consequences of the resettlement in this village have been caused by the physical consequences. The perceived consequences of settlement displacement by stakeholders are different from what is expected from the plan and mentioned for its purposes. In this study, the perceptions and understandings of the rural residents as the main stakeholders of the project was focused. The results showed that there is a gap between the people expectations of displacement and what authorities have had implemented. The failure to meet people expectations from displacement has had a negative effect on the whole process. But the most positive consequences identified by the stakeholders were of the physical outcomes which have often been subjected to a physical-spatial subsystem, and the negative consequences have been perceived in the economic and social subsystem. This means that in rural displacement, intervention in the physical system can have implications for social and economic systems that the authorities cannot ignore. Ignoring of these sub-systems provides grounds for a dysfunctional occurrence in the whole system and a negative impact on its total performance. Therefore, the study suggests that displacement must only be carried out in certain circumstances, and in this case, by means of promotional measures, the displacement will be turned to the will of the people so that people will find a clear understanding of the issue.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Housing And Rural Environment, Volume:37 Issue: 164, 2019
27 - 40  
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