Comparative Study of Urban Growth Management Policies in the City of Shiraz
Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Rapid population growth in metropolises has led to the expansion of urban sprawl; this results in urban expansion which is in contrast to Smart Growth and Infill Development. The city of Shiraz has 1700 hectares of worn and inefficient texture and about 450 hectares of Brownfield inside the city. The extent of this amount of land requires using Infill Development and its means of achieving it. Accordingly, the purpose of this research is adaptively to investigate urban growth management policies for introducing appropriate growth management policies and identify the best internal urban growth management policy in Shiraz. To this end, aAHP-TOPSIS model has been used and the scores were determined using a Sequential sampling method in a two-step Delphi model using the views of 17 experts and managers of Shiraz city. The results show that the generally external urban growth management policies due to the immense impact and extension of the affected area has a higher priority for urban management, such as Urban Green Belt (0.69), Urban Growth Boundary (0.69)Which both ranked second and Urban Service Areas with third ranked in priority. In the next step, there are internal external urban growth management policies, the most influential of which is Land Readjustment (0.75) and ranking first, Followed by other growth internal management policies such as, Mandatory Comprehensive Plans, Transfer/Purchase of Development Rights, Density Bonuses and Inclusionary Housing Provisions, Inter-Local and Joint-Planning Agreement, Concurrency Provisions and Development Impact Fees and Special Tax/Financing Tools in the fourth place onwards.


 Rapid population growth in metropolises has led to the expansion of unplanned urban sprawl. This expansion that is in contrast to Smart Growth and Infill Development usually emerges as separate development and low density in suburban areas. The importance of preventing urban sprawl and reaching infill development leds to examining the growth management policies. In Iran, growth management policies are not known well despite the problems associated with the unnecessary expansion of cities. Indeed, a line has been drawn as the boundary line whilst its definition is not clear. Shiraz has 1700 hectares of worn-out urban texture and about 450 hectares of vacant lands within the city. This amount reveal the need to employ infill development and the tools to achieve it. Accordingly, the purpose of this study is to compare the urban growth management policies (external growth management policies and internal growth management policies) to identify the best internal growth management policies in Shiraz in order to examine if “Land Readjustment is the most effective internal growth management policy for Shiraz city”.


 The present descriptive-survey study is applied in terms of purpose. The theoretical data were collected using documentary and library method; the field data were also obtained through Delphi Model of assessing questionnaire. Indeed, a AHP-TOPSIS model has been used and the scores were determined using a Sequential sampling method in a two-step Delphi model using the views of 17 experts and managers of Shiraz city having B. Sc.; M. Sc. and PhD in Urban Planning.

Results and discussion

Based on the research findings, four urban policies including urban green belt, urban growth boundaries, urban services areas and extra-territorial jurisdiction are exterior growth management policies; mandatory comprehensive plans, concurrency provisions and development impact fees, Inter-local and joint-planning agreement, transfer/purchase of development rights, density bonuses and inclusionary housing provisions, special tax/financing tools and land readjustment are internal growth management policies. Furtheremore, among the four criteria of measuring growth management policies, environmental protection and sprawl control showed the highest importance (weigh=0.427). It  followed by infill development and utilization of internal capacity of cities (weigh=0.256), institutions and executive infrastructure (weight=0.16) and the flexibility of growth management policy (weigh=0.108).


 A comparative examination of growth management policies showed that the external policies have a higher priority for urban management due to the large impact and the expansion of the affected area. For instance, urban green belt (0.69) and urban growth boundaries (0.69) are in the second level, and the urban services areas (0.63) ranked third. The reason can be attributed to the enormity of these policies and affevting a large area around the city. The disadvantage of these policies, however, is that although they are successful in controlling external growth, preventing sprawel, and achieving infill development goals, but they have no suggestion for how to utilize the city's internal capacities. These policies were close to the negative ideal in terms of implementation (the two criteria for the existence of institutions and infrastructures - ease and flexibility). Indeed, it is concluded that no entity or organization manage the metropolitan integratedly in practice. Moreover, there is not a coherent law to support these policies. Among the policies to control growth, in general, and internal growth, in spesific, the most effective policy is land readjustment (with a score of 0.75). It indicats that this policy is appropriate to the management structure and executive system of urban planning of Iran especially Shiraz. Controlling sprawl is not very successful in external management policies in contrast to internal ones due to the smaller scale of projects. But these policies doing better in achieving infill development. these policies have different conditions in the two implementing criteria. The criterion for the existence of legal institutions and infrastructures is moderate due to its new policies and its mismatch with the common methods of urban management in Iran as well as the prevailing social, economic and institutional features. This criterion enjoys a good condition in joint-planning agreement and density bonuses (due to their mechanism in facilitation offices), mandatory comprehensive plans (due to their approval in the Iranian urban planning system), and transfer/purchase of development rights (exchange of land or municipalities toll exemptions). Due to the small scale of implementation of these policies and the ability to accurately identify the target group as well as the financial issues and value added of the policy implementation, the criterion of ease and flexibility has an intermediate position in these policies, and in some policies, the distance from the ideal positive and negative is the same. It should be noted that due to the inconsistency of urban growth management policies some of these policies can be implemented simultaneously in order to synchronize their strengths. For instance, to use positive environmental advantages, the policy of “urban green belt” can be used with "land readjustent" in vacant lands and worn-out textures. There have been few studies in identifying and exploring growth management policies in Iran and numerous studies in global experience; however, most studies have focused on describing or expressing the experiences of a particular policy in a specific neighborhood or city. Indeed, they have not been compared altogether. The innovative aspect of this research was actually the comparative examination of different policies with each other in order to apply the appropriate policies to the Iranian metropolitan conditions in general and the city of Shiraz in particular

Research and Urban Planning, Volume:10 Issue: 39, 2020
89 - 102  
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