Today environmental, social, and economic problems and issues concentrated in cities have necessitated attempts for undertaking research on sustainable development. Considering the role of neighborhoods as the mosaics of development, neighborhoodism and neighborhood-based planning is a ...
Today environmental, social, and economic problems and issues concentrated in cities have necessitated attempts for undertaking research on sustainable development. Considering the role of neighborhoods as the mosaics of development, neighborhoodism and neighborhood-based planning is a key approach that has receiveda great deal of attention in contemporary world literature. Neighborhoods, as the smallest space units in urban divisions, are the building organs of a city, in which the notion of citizenship grows. In this regard, Ardebil city has been facing many problems related to sustainability because of rapid urbanization, urban sprawl, mismanagement, unplanned skeletal structures, and weak economic structures and lack of attention to development projects in the field of urban planning. In this article, attempts have been made to measure the sustainability level of neighborhood development in the framework of skeletal, social, economic, environmental, and managerial (institutional, political) criteria using a field method. The studied neighborhoods include Niar, Kolkhuran, Golmaghan, Molabashi, and Mollayusef. The mentioned neighborhoods were originally villages that merged with the city.
Data and Methodology
The present research is practical in terms of its aim and is descriptive-analytical in terms of research methodology. To do this research, first exploratory studies were carried using library-documents method and the major part of this investigation was survey based using questionnaires and interviews. To measure the sustainability of neighborhoods, the five dimensions of skeletal, socio-cultural, economic, environmental, and institutional-political were used along with 20 criteria. The sample population consisted of the citizens of Niar, Golmaghan, Kolkhuran, Mopllabashi, and Mollayusef neighborhoods, among which 378 citizens, based on the Cochran formula, were chosen as thesample. The samplingmethod was random classified sampling where questionnaires were distributed and completedin proportion to each neighborhood population.To analyze the data obtained from the field operations of the two descriptive and inferential statistics, SPSS 22 Software with its one-sample t-test, one-way ANOVA/F (and the Scheffe test) as well as Kruskal-Wallis ranking were used. Furthermore, in order to specify the neighborhoods under study, Arc GIS Software was used. It should be noted that for measuring neighborhood sustainability, 20 criteria were used in five relevant dimensions with a 9-choice Likert scale, because the larger the number of scales, the closer the results to reality.
Findings and Discussion
The findings of the study reveal that among the 20 criteria investigated here,only the two criteria of neighborhood legibility and spatial devotion of the neighborhood were reasonably sustainable regarding averages larger than the theoretical averages of the research, while other criteria did not have a suitable condition. In comparing neighborhood sustainability using the significant difference test, it was observed that apart from the four criteria of access to services, social capital, participation, and good governance, the rest of criteria in this research significantly affected the sustainability of the studied neighborhoods. In other words, in the target neighborhoods there was a significant difference between the mentioned criteria.Overall, the neighborhood sustainability ranking in these five neighborhoods revealed that Niar was first while Kolkhuran was last.
Comparing the findings of this study to previous research theories reveals that neighborhood sustainability largely depends on management and planning at this level. In a similar vein, poor civil participation and lack of proper developmental plans influence the increases or decrease in the sustainability of neighborhoods. Yet, the role of urban and meta-urban economic and social factors should not be ignored.
Conclusion and Suggestion
This research illustrates that the studied neighborhoods are at an unsustainable and underdeveloped level. The largest inequality is related to socio-economic criteria and the lowest one to environmental and managerial criteria. The level of unsustainability is different in the neighborhoods. Some neighborhoods such as Kolkhuran are facing severe unsustainability, while others such as Niar are afflicted with less sustainability. The solution to the problem of underdevelopment requires comprehensive and integrative measures in all the sectors related to development within the framework of management and neighborhood developmental planning. Accordingly, citizen participation, planning at the neighborhood level and empowerment of neighborhood residents socially and economically is essential in that it is effective in the development of neighborhoods. In this regard, attention to space planning at the neighborhood level is essential.