Strategies for Empowering the Physical and Social Structures of Informal Settlements in the Koshtargah and Its Surrounding Villages (Case Study: Urmia County)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D Student, Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Yadegar-e-Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Geography and Rural Planning, Yadegar-e-Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Yadegar-e-Imam Khomeini (RAH) Shahre Rey Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.



Purpose: Today, in most metropolises, we are confronted with a phenomenon known as informal settlements in peri-urban areas, which causes various problems in economic, social, physical, and other domains. This study aimed to identify solutions for empowering informal settlements' physical and social structures in the Koshtargah region and villages within its sphere of influence (Case Study: Urmia County).
Methods: This is an interpretive study in terms of its objective and a mixed research in terms of methodology. Data were analyzed using background theoretical models and structural equations. The statistical population in qualitative and quantitative phs consisted of professors, graduates, and individuals knowledgeable in the field of study (urban and rural organizations). Sampling was conducted using purposive sampling to the point of theoretical saturation. In total, 25 in-depth interviews were conducted.
Results: Based on the background theory, practical strategies for social and physical empowerment of informal settlements and villages within the sphere of influence include social institutionalization, creating economic incentives, increasing social capital and participation, enhancing security through physical development, establishing necessary mechanisms in line with empowerment policies and challenges, upgrading sectoral empowerment programs through integrated management and decentralized development, stemming from meaningful units. According to the AMOS software, the most essential physical and social empowerment strategies are enhancing the effectiveness of empowerment programs through integrated management and decentralized development and creating economic incentives with coefficients of 0.93 and 0.88, respectively.Additionally, within these strategies, the highest impact relates to addressing managerial challenges and strengthening the household economy, with coefficients of 0.59 and 0.61, respectively.
Conclusion: The results indicated that sustainable empowerment in informal settlements' physical and social domains can be achieved by addressing technical and managerial challenges and utilizing a decentralized development approach through integrated management.


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