Analysis of urban poverty indicators in informal settlements, case study of District 14 of Isfahan

Document Type : Article extracted From phd dissertation


1 Islamic Azad University of Najafabad-Najafabad-Iran

2 Department of Geography - Faculty of Humanities - Islamic Azad University of Najafabad - Najafabad - Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran



Extended Abstract
Iran has one of the highest urban growth rates in the world which largely the result of internal migration from rural areas. Mass urbanization is caused mostly by the lack of investment in rural areas. High natural population growth rates and rapid rural-urban migration have greatly increased the population of urban areas in Isfahan city in the past decades. Informal settlement is the most problematic kind of urban community in the world. These settlements are the spatial illustration of poverty in the cities and the residents in these kinds of settlements are those who could not find the economic opportunities within the cities. Cities claimed to be a "land of wishes" to attract rural residents. But the promise of the "land of wishes" remains undelivered and the informal settlement appears as a way to alleviate the problems of the homeless. Isfahan is one of the cities in the Iran where has had to deal with informal settlements. The growth trend of urbanization, which has often been associated with economic growth and development, has also had negative consequences such as social inequality, poverty, environmental crises, class distinctions, poor housing, and informal settlement. One of the characteristics of Third World cities such as Isfahan is urban poverty. In these cities, there are always a limited number of neighborhoods in prosperity and comfort, and at the crossroads, some residents do not have these urban benefits.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the indicators of urban poverty in the 14th district of Isfahan city due to having informal settlements. The type of research is applied in the framework of descriptive-analytical methods. In order to collect and analyze the data, survey and documentary methods have been used and to analyze the collected data from descriptive statistical techniques, one-sample T analysis has been exerted. In this paper, the indicators of urban poverty are examined and after introducing the indicators, they are evaluated and scored in order to determine the level of satisfaction and access of the residents of the slums to these services and resources. The indicators have been evaluated in urban poverty are: economic index, social and cultural index, physical index, environmental index, management index.

Results and discussion
Based on the obtained results of the indicators analysis and the study of " Income per capita" in order to study urban poverty, it can be said that employment and economic conditions with an average of 2.07 and housing with an average of 2.11 from the subset of economic index, below the average standard and there is more dissatisfaction among the residents. At the same time, urban services and facilities are more satisfied with the physical index subset, but less than the standard average. In general, according to the studied indicators, it should be acknowledged that the relative satisfaction of residents with physical, environmental, managerial, socio-cultural and economic indicators are decreasing, respectively, and on the other hand, based on the existing survey, residents in terms of public services, urban facilities and health have the greatest urban needs or suffer from urban poverty, and in the next stage, they need social justice, improving urban quality and enhancing security.

Informal settlement is the most problematic kind of urban community in Iran. These settlements are the spatial illustration of poverty in the cities and the residents in these kinds of settlements are those who could not find the economic opportunities within the cities. Iran is one of the developing countries in the Middle East where its cities have had to deal with informal settlements. This paper chronicles the history of informal settlements and the policies addressing them in Isfahan. While tracing its recent history to the past period, it explores the reasons why informal settlements are expanding rapidly in Isfahan, and briefly outlines five sets of constraints (physical, national, supply and demand, and institutional) that, according to the Isfahan municipality data, are its contributing factors. Due to the poverty, informal settlers tend to corrupt and illegal ways of earning money. The residents of these settlements had no citizen's rights. They had to live in deteriorating, unstable homes which were erected overnight. The conclusion of this paper is to introduce the reasons for the appearance of informal settlements in Isfahan, a survey of their geographical locations, and spatial situation of their house and lands. Economic and social information of the residents will be explained. The government's response of destroying the settlements will be described. Finally, the risks effects of destroying on these settlements and the right alternatives have been surveyed.