Annexation of rural settlements and empowerment of vulnerable urban neighborhoods

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of geography, Payam-e-Noor University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Payame Noor University (PNU), P.O. Box, 19395-3697, Tehran, Iran


Urbanism in the national space and reducing environmental-ecological capacities and economic-social capabilities of rural settlements near urban areas have caused the spread of sprawl and annexation of rural settlements to cities, especially in the east of Iran. Zabol is one of the oldest and most ancient cities in the east. In recent decades, the instability of rural settlements around the city and the increasing rate of migration from other villages to Zabol, stirred up the annexation of villages such as Seh Ghaleh and Mohammad Abad to Zabol City. These annexed informal settlements to Zabol have reduced the quality of rural-urban life with minimum facilities, infrastructure and services. Recent studies indicate that there are 3,467 hectares of weary texture in Zabol. Seven hundred sixty-six hectares of this amount are rural and informal annexed textures. This study used a descriptive-analytical method to recognize and analyze the process of annexation and formation of informal settlements. Furthermore, applying a community empowerment approach, we designed guidelines for the informal texture in Seh Ghaleh and Mohammad Abad neighbourhoods of Zabol City. The statistical population of this study is the residents of Seh Ghaleh and Mohammad Abad neighbourhoods. Three hundred seventy-six households were selected by the Cochran method. The selection of sample and spatial distribution was done using the cluster method at the neighbourhood level. The reliability of the questionnaire based on Cronbach's alpha method is 0.891. The results showed that the most important factor affecting the annexation and expansion of informal settlements in Seh Ghaleh and Mohammad Abad neighbourhoods is the socio-economic factor. Also, the most critical factor as the solution to the problem of informal settlement is the promotion of citizens' participation through social-educational activities. To this end, the findings show that empowering local communities by providing education, skills and creating local institutions are the foremost solutions to put an end to or modify informal settlements.


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