ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD of Urban Planning, Art University of Tehran

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Art University of Tehran



The position and importance of urban development plans and their evaluation through various methods remains a significant issue in theoretical and practical areas. Plan quality evaluation is known as an emerging methodology for examination of whether a plan holds certain desirable features, and is aimed at answering questions about the suitability of plans and application of methods and theories of planning and their strengths and weaknesses with respect to the ideal conditions in different fields. During the past two decades, researchers have successfully formulated a conceptual consensus based on the preliminary principles of plan quality.
The purpose of this study was to introduce concepts and methods for plan quality evaluation and to present an appropriate systematic conceptual model for quality evaluation of urban development plans in Iran. For specification of the theoretical framework of this explanatory-analytical research, a range of methods and studies related to the subject were comprehensively examined and analyzed, and the consequent appropriate model for evaluation of the quality of urban development plans in Iran was clearly established and adapted to the entire country.
A conceptual model for evaluating the quality of comprehensive plans consists of seven basic components (factual basis, analysis and inference, plans and programs, implementation, inter-organizational coordination, presentation, and planning methods) and three progressive components (participation, sustainable development, and monitoring and evaluation). This study evaluated 29 plans from medium-sized Iranian cities and 5 from large ones.
The results demonstrated that the overall quality score of the comprehensive plans in both groups was moderate (The average score was 4.95 out of 10). Among the seven basic components of plan quality, factual basis, analysis and inference, organization, and presentation exhibited proper conditions, and the components of plans and programs, inter-organizational coordination, implementation, and planning methods were found to be inappropriate. The progressive component of sustainable development exhibited potentials for advancement despite the low score, while participation and monitoring and evaluation were generally disregarded in the plans.
The findings also indicated the incapability of the plans  (at least in the present conditions) of correctly completing the planning process. The most important drawbacks of the plans included the reduction of the capability of presenting and implementing the plans and the lack of a mechanism for monitoring and evaluating them.
Among all the evaluated plans, the plan from the city of Rasht was identified as the best, followed by those of Mahabad, Bojnord, Amol, Sabzevar, Kerman, and Birjand, all of which could be regarded as plans with potentials for advancement. In a study of the internal consistency of the plan components, plans and programs was found to be the most important, most influential component of plan quality, which could be considered as the main indicator of comprehensive plan quality. Moreover, there was no significant difference between the plan quality of the large and medium-sized cities. However, the quality of the plans has increased over the past two decades, and the dates of their approval were found to be effective on their quality.
The future conditions of plan quality in the country seem to be promising, and better quality is expected to be provided by the urban development plans. Future plans are likely to be capable of addressing issues such as justice in urban development, environmental quality, transportation, and sustainability.
This study sought to provide incentives for reconsideration of how plans are developed and to prevent discouragement of planners and unnecessary underestimation of their ability to inject creativity, new methods, and new planning challenges into their plans, so that they can present better plans to which they are committed.
The value of the capacity to assess the quality of plans in order to highlight their strengths and weaknesses in analysis of the controversial or innovative effects of urban development plans and land use planning in various fields was demonstrated in this research, requiring those in charge of development and implementation of plans to have greater concern for to their quality indicators.


Main Subjects

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