ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper



Urban sprawl is a physical-spatial phenomenon. It is a kind of scattered, leapfrog, and low density horizontal urban growth far from urban centers and is usually followed by non mixed-use development. It can demonstrate resource and capital waste, threat to citizens’ health, environmental degradation, change city centers to deteriorated urban areas due to peripheral suburban growth pattern. The causes, patterns, consequences, costs and benefits of urban growth and sprawl, have been discussed by several researchers. However, these experts have not operated in the same way in regards the causes, patterns, costs and mechanism in this case. Most of the literature concerning urban sprawl often confuses causes, consequences, the many conditions, and spatial patterns. The theoretical question of this research is as follows: what the dimensions of urban sprawl in the historical evolution of the metropolis are; what causes urban sprawl and by what mechanism does it work. In that regard, Isfahan was chosen as a case study due to its unbridled horizontal growth in the last few decades which has had social, economic, and environmental impacts such as dissipated agricultural lands, increased air pollution and its risks to citizen’s health, increased costs of transportation, social segregation, injured historical heritages because of increasing pollutions. Moreover, Isfahan plays a prominent role in the economy of Iran. On the one hand, it has a great economic potential in tourism and mass industries, and plays a leading role in regional agricultural economics due to its fertile lands and soil. Pathology of these suburban areas, process of urban sprawl, and its mechanism in Isfahan is the purpose of this research. It seems that the highest amount of urban sprawl has occurred at the outskirts of Isfahan municipality, in regions 7 and 14. The process of this sprawl can be determined by ecological-social processes of industrial establishment in the northern peripheral areas, formation of residential settlements for laborers, impact of cooperative housing activities, natural factors (water shortage), transportation network, rural to urban migration, and formation of Isfahan’s spatial pattern by industrial-agricultural-residential function. Urban Sprawl in Isfahan has challenged spatial policy-making. The greatest degree of urban sprawl has occurred in peripheral lands along the “Dolat-Abad” road; numerous villages that are near northern  Isfahan villages like “Younart”, have become neighborhoods of the city. Car dependency has increased along with the duration of daily trips within the cit. Social segregation has developed as an informal settlement of “Hadi-Gol”. This is a challenge for the whole of Isfahan city and its metropolitan areas, not just for the north of it. In terms of economic and social policy making, segregation patterns, physical separation, structural-spatial order, the urban sprawl of Isfahan affects all further spatial policy making and planning. Systemic-historical analysis was used as a method of proving the aforementioned hypothesis and exploratory factor analysis was used to distinguish the suburban areas where the most sprawl has occurred.  


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