Document Type : Research Paper
Ph.D. Student of Geography, Larestan Unit, Islamic Azad University, Larestan, Iran
Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Larestan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Larestan, Iran
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Larestan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Larestan, Iran
Evaluating the efficiency and performance of urban management in providing urban services is very important because of its impact on people's living standards. Given the importance of this issue and the fact that the city of Ardabil as the center of the province, has many problems that could be turned into a developed and advanced city with proper management, this study evaluates the level of citizen satisfaction with the performance of urban management (city municipality) Ardabil) in four dimensions of socio-cultural, environmental, economic and physical in 24 studied areas of Ardabil using the method of structural equations, which according to studies can gather the most useful information about the intended purpose. Therefore, this study seeks to answer the following question:
what is the evaluation of the performance of urban management from the perspective of the citizens of Ardabil?
The nature of the present research is applied and the research method is descriptive and analytical. The method of data collection is based on library and field studies. In library studies, the relevant theoretical foundations, national and global experiences have been referred to and in field studies, questionnaire tools have been used. The study area is 24 central neighborhoods of Ardabil. Due to the large population living in these neighborhoods (65,774 people), sampling has been done. The sample size was calculated using the Cochran's formula and a total of 383 samples were selected and a questionnaire was randomly classified (proportional to the population of each neighborhood) and distributed. Questionnaire questions were divided into two categories; the first category is related to demographic characteristics and descriptive information and the second category is related to the evaluation factors of urban management in sustainable urban development from the citizens' point of view in four dimensions: socio-cultural, economic-managerial, environmental and physical-physical; all questions are based on the Likert scale (five options). In this study, Cronbach's alpha coefficient was used to obtain the reliability of the questionnaires. The coefficient obtained is 0.838, which indicates the high reliability of the questionnaire. The validity of the questionnaire was assessed based on Logical method which has been approved by a group of experts. Finally, the Smart PLS model has been exploited to analyze the obtained data and evaluate the factors affecting citizens' satisfaction in urban management in sustainable urban development. The Smart PLS method consists of two parts. In the first part, the measurement model, i.e. the reliability of convergent and divergent identification and validity of research structures and tools, is examined, and in the second part, the structural model is tested and hypotheses are tested. Diagnostic reliability, convergent validity and divergent validity are discussed in examining the measurement model.
Results and discussion
First, the reliability of the indicators, convergent validity and divergent validity were used in the research findings section to measure the fit of the measurement model. Reliability of indicators for measuring internal reliability includes three criteria: factor load coefficients, Cronbach's alpha and combined reliability. The data show that all Cronbach's alpha values are greater than 0.7, which indicates that the reliability is desirable, and the composite reliability values are more than 0.7, and all research variables have a AVE value greater than 0.5. This indicates that the convergent validity of the research variables is appropriate. Combined reliability criterion is another evaluation criterion for determining the reliability of structures in the partial least squares method. This criterion should also be more than 0.7, which in the results also shows the appropriate combination reliability. Fornell-Larker criterion was used to validate the divergence of the measurement model. According to this criterion, the acceptable divergence validity of a model indicates that one structure in the model has more interaction with its characteristics than other structures. Divergence validity is at an acceptable level when the average amount of variance extracted for each structure is greater than the shared variance between that structure and the other ones in the model. According to this criterion, a latent variable compared to other ones, should have a greater dispersion among its observable, to say that the latent variable has a high diagnostic validity and Ardabil Municipality performance evaluation indicators have a high diagnostic validity.
The results of structural equations showed that socio-cultural, economic-managerial, environmental and physical dimensions affect urban performance and these relationships are statistically confirmed. Based on structural equations, physical and environmental dimensions are the first and second priority, and economic - managerial and socio-cultural are the third and fourth priorities. In this regard, the results of this study are consistent with the results of research by Khakpour et al. (2015) on the effect of socio-cultural sustainability of Piranshahr neighborhoods on the performance of urban management. The results of determining the strategy of Ardabil citizens 'satisfaction with the evaluation of the performance of Ardabil metropolitan municipality have shown that citizens' satisfaction with the performance of Ardabil municipality in all four dimensions of socio-cultural, Environmental, economic - managerial and physical, is effective and meaningful, and also citizens are familiar with the importance of these indicators and have evaluated them in terms of significant satisfaction, so in terms of all dimensions of the study, Ardabil metropolitan municipality should base its action on new and optimal strategy and management in the areas studied in the present study to improve the sustainability situation.