Factors and Decline Zones of Mashhad Metropolis

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Kharazmi University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Geography & Urban Planning, University of Kharazmi, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

4 Ph.D. of Geography & Urban Planning, University of Kharazmi, Tehran, Iran



Extended Abstract
The disrupted textures of the central district of the major cities have been considered one of the main urban issues and have led to the loss of their middle and high-income population. Over the past 50 years, more than 100,000 people in 370 cities have reported a demographic decline of at least 10 percent. The purpose of this paper is to understand the decline as a phenomenon affecting the dynamics of the city of Mashhad, and to identify the declined areas of the city, to obscure the concept of worn-out textures. In other words, this paper seeks to explain the decline phenomenon as a substitute for the concept of worn-out texture, the process that influences the dynamics of Mashhad city, and the factors that affect the decline of the city. Sub article targets include: A. Specify the boundary and extent of declined areas of the city, B. Explain and obscure the use of the concept of worn-out texture. So far, the reasons for the formation of worn-out texture have been attributed to the aging and obsolete urban texture. Today, however, it is believed that the worn-out texture is a diminutive conception of the complex difficulty of problematic zones in the space of production, circulation and consumption, which only deals with the phenomenon and appearance of the problem. In this article, urban decline is described as a phenomenon and process that influences the dynamics of the city of Mashhad and the effective factors on it are stated. Also, the extent of declined areas of the city were identified and the concept of worn-out texture was disambiguation.  The questions we are looking for in this research are:

What is a decline? What are the variables for recognizing this phenomenon? Which areas of the city have these characteristics?
What are the reasons for the formation of this phenomenon?
Is the decay process dominant in the central and historical part of the city of Mashhad?

The variables of this study are determined based on the theory of "the role of non-investment in urban decline". However, due to lack of information on direct indicators of deterioration measurement (number of people and jobs out of property), these variables were selected from the official census data of the National Statistical Center of Iran. Also, in the absence of long data, spatial differences and cumulative effect of investment layers were exerted to show the trend of prosperity and stagnation of deterioration variables: the ratio of wifeless women, population growth rate between 1986 to 2011, population ratio born in Mashhad, proportion of tenant households, ratio of population over 65 years of age, ratio of literate population, ratio of labor population (simple and industrial), ratio of newly constructed buildings (2006-2011), ratio of poor housing households, proportion of non-student population with higher education, population density (persons per hectare), ratio of unemployed population to active population.
The hypothesis test was conducted by examining the statistical population from 2006 to 2011 in the form of census blocks conducted by the Statistical Center in 2011. Also, data analysis was performed by standardizing the changers based on Z score and dispersion and accumulation of deterioration phenomenon by G index (Moran Spatial Autocorrelation). Then, the deteriorated neighborhoods were determined based on the total score of each neighborhood in the map. In this regard, statistical processing and cartography of maps have been done by using of Excel and Arc GIS software programs.
Results and discussion
Ranking of variables indicates that: The ratio of the population with a literacy to a population over 6 years old, the proportion of educated people with a higher education to a literacy population, ratio of poor housing households (two households and more in residential units to whole residential units), the ratio of the labor population (simple and industrial) to the employed population and population growth rate between 1986 and 2011, are the most important factors in the declining of inner city of Mashhad. The difference between declining spaces and spaces without signs of decline reveals new aspects of urban decline. For example, the high population density along with the lower population growth rate of areas compared to the rest of the city indicate emigration, population aging, fragmentation and concentration of deprived groups in these spaces. A smaller proportion of the population with a high level of literacy also reflects a shortage of specialized labor and richer groups in these neighborhoods. And, finally, the existence of newly constructed buildings represents less attractive neighborhoods for investment. The survey of the data of the declining zones shows that 56.2% of the area of Mashhad is in an appropriate condition (no decline), and 17% of the city's area is classified in low decline. Meanwhile, medium and large declined neighborhoods have occupied a total of 26% of the city's total area. This categorization is based on the method of the natural break points of the data and with little correction. The assessment of the obtained areas based on this classification method with field surveys indicates that classification accuracy in different areas of the city is appropriate.
The G test showed that the demographic characteristics of the city of Mashhad were highly concentrated and cluster distributed, and there is a clear difference between East and West of this city. The obtained clustering from the sum of Z standard, indicates a completely clustered and concentrated phenomenon of decline in Mashhad. In general, the rates of variables indicate that the characteristics of the decline are more concentrated in the central and eastern parts of the city of Mashhad. The opposite is western neighborhoods that are far from the effects of decline. Meanwhile, there are neighborhoods that are geographically interspersed between these two parts and, according to the G statistical test, are not significant in either of these two categories. This means that the attribute of decline in them is not significantly positive or negative clustering. In general, this map shows the separation and clear differentiation of deprived and declining areas from the developed areas of Mashhad.
 Urban Decline, Worn-out Texture, G Test, Standard Z Score, Mashhad City.


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