Document Type : Research Paper
university of tehran
Department of Environmental planning and Management, Faculty of Environment, University of Tehran, Iran
Evaluation and Determination of Urban Land use Resilience based on Sustainable Development Approach
(Case Study: District One of Tehran Municipality)
Looking at the long history (at least ten thousand years) of human settlement, we can realize that urban environments in their current shape and form can be considered a relatively new phenomenon.Despite covering a small area of the earth’s surface, urban environments house the majority of human population. This high concentration of population on one hand escalates the exposure to natural or man-made disasters and on the other hand increasesthe vulnerability of urban communities, especially in developing countries. Movingthe entirepopulationout of the danger zones is an impossible task; therefore a set of structural and non-structural measures must be taken to make the settlements morehazard-resilient. Land use planning,as one the most important tools of urban planning, can play a significant role in reducing the disaster risks.
Tehran’s district 1 hasa high concentration of population and is house toseveral administrative and economic centers, but its geological and geographical characteristics make it highly exposed to natural and man-made hazards,which overall make this district an ideal subject for a case study.So the present study aims to determine and clarify the dimensions and criteria of urban land use resilience, and to measure and evaluate these dimensions and criteria for Tehran’s district 1, in order to take effective steps toward reducing the vulnerability and improving the resilience of the study area.
2. Theoretical principles of research
Numerous studies have been carried out to determine the relation of resilience dimensions and components with the urban land use. In the end, severaldimensions and criteriaconsidered more prominent bythe experts (specializing in the field of environmental planning, urban planning,and geography) have been proposed for the concept of land use resilience.The dimensions of urban land use resilience are listed in Table 1.
Table 1. the dimensions of urban land use resilience.
Structural-natural dimension is among the main measures of a resilient community, and describes the various structural-natural capacities of a city or a district affecting its ability to prevent and withstand the crisis and its quick return to normal status after the crisis. Any city or district lacking structural–natural resilience will have a very low environmental quality and will be very vulnerable in the face of a disaster.The structural-physical dimension is another main aspect of urban land use resilience. Improving the resilience of cities in this aspect is an appropriate and effective way to strengthen the city to deal with crises and natural and unnatural hazards. Paying proper attention to this aspect increases the quality of normal city life before the crisis, reduces the damage and casualties in the event of crisis, and accelerates the return to normal conditions after the crisis by speeding up the relief and aid efforts. Another important aspect of urban land use resilience is its socio-cultural dimension. Paying proper attention to the socio-cultural aspects of urban land use resilience increases the environmental quality and improves the lives of citizens. Another advantage of socio-cultural dimension of resilience is its ability toincrease the mental, psychological, and spiritual readiness of citizensagainst the events that happens before, during and after the crisis. The economic dimension is another key aspect of urban land use resilience. Economic resilience describes the economic capacity of a region to prevent and withstand the crisis andto make a quick return to normal status after the crisis. Any city lacking the economic resilience will be highly vulnerable to natural and unnatural disasters and will not be able to quickly return to equilibrium after the crisis.
3. The study area
The study area is thefirst district of Tehran municipality.Given the current Tehran northern borders approved by Tehran City Council, the area of this district is 4574.24 hectares. This district is bounded by 1800mcontour line of the southern slopes of the Alborz Mountains in the north, by the Chamran highway (between Hotel Azadi and Sadr bridge)in the south, by Darakeh river basin in the west, and by the Artesh highway, cement factory, andTehran’snortheast oil depot in the east.
4. Research Methodology
At the first step of this research, the theoretical framework was determined by collecting data fromlibrary and electronic resourcesand related articles. Then the important criteria and sub-criteria for assessing the urban land use resilience were determined by incorporating the expert opinions and reviewing the previous research. Then the FAHP method, which incorporated the opinions of 15 experts and faculty members in the field of environmental planning, urban planning, rural planning and urban development, was used to make pairwise comparison between important dimensions and criteria. At this stage, all valuations were based on experiences and studies of those experts. After making pairwise comparisons, the maps of district resilience factors were standardized in Idrisi environment , and then the weight of each resilience factor was applied to the layers in the GIS environment. The maps were then merged to determine the resilience of the district, and finally the TOPSIS technique was used to prioritize the resilience of each zone within the district.
5. Discussion and conclusion
In this study, first the factors affecting the resilience of land use were examined, and then these factors were evaluated for Tehran’s district 1.The results of these evaluations showed thataverage resilience of this area is approximately 0.61which indicates that this district is moderately resilient (moderately vulnerable).Therefore, according to the research findings the following results can be concluded:
1- According to experts’ opinions, the structural-physical dimension plays the most important role in enhancing the urban resilience. In this dimension, the criteria of buildings condition, access routes, high-risk land uses, public safety land uses, green open spaces, and quality of residential centers were evaluated. Ultimately,district 1 gained an average resiliency score of 0.53 in this dimension, which indicate a medium resilience (or medium vulnerability) with respect to this dimension.
2- According to experts’ opinions, the socio-cultural dimension also plays an important role in enhancing the urban resilience. This dimension consisted of 8 criteria including population density, and land uses related to healthcare, education, culture, tourism, sports, law enforcement, and religion. After overlaying all layers corresponding to criteria, district 1 gained an average resiliency score of 0.69, which indicate the resilience of this district with respect to this dimension.
3- The structural-natural dimension was placed third in terms ofimportance in enhancing the urban resilience. The criteria of this dimension included natural hazards, composition and distribution, vegetation, and physiography. District 1 gained an average resiliency score of 0.78 in this dimension, which indicate the resilience of this district with respect to this dimension.
4- The economic dimension included the criteria of commercial land uses, economic activity, employment and unemployment.Assessments in relation to this dimension revealed thatDistrict 1 has an average resiliency score of 0.47, which indicate the medium resilience (or medium vulnerability) of this district with respect to this dimension.