Assessment of Urban Liveability in Iranian Oil Cities Case Study: Bandar Mahshahr

Document Type : Article extracted From phd dissertation


1 PhD Student in Geography and Urban Planning, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran



Extended Abstract
Liveability is a subset of sustainability that directly affects the physical, socio-economic, and psychological dimensions of people's lives. This concept includes a set of environmental features that make it a desirable, convenient, and attractive place for all people to live, work and visit. However, the concept of liveability is a forgotten aspect of Iran's urban planning system; because of problems such as the consequences of population growth and migration, the diversity of migrant groups, the mismatch of urban infrastructure with the volume of the urban population, the polarization of urban contexts into traditional and modern has overshadowed the lack of attention to social justice in the decisions of city managers, the imbalance in the fair distribution of services at the neighbourhood level and the rate of liveability and consequently the quality of life in Iranian cities. In this regard, Bandar Mahshahr has been in a similar situation as other cities in Iran. Because, according to Harvey, the dual spatial structure (as one of the important factors in the distribution of facilities and resources) of this city indicates injustice in facilities, and quality of urban life. On the other hand, its oil function has increased the existing inequalities in the city and has doubled the urban ecology. Due to attracting immigrants through oil and petrochemical-related industries, centralized urban management, duality in urban texture and structure, unbalanced distribution of services and urban infrastructure, this city is placed in a special position in terms of providing liveability indicators.
The research method is descriptive-analytical using documentary studies and questionnaire data. Data collection was done by library and field methods through a questionnaire. The collection was a regular questionnaire with a LIKERT scale. According to the time, facilities and possibilities of the research, the cluster sampling method and finally, the simple random method have been used. Cochran's formula has also been exerted to estimate the sample size. Based on this, the number of samples studied in the whole city of Mahshahr, taking into account 0.05 errors, is 383 cases. Considering the population of each neighbourhood, out of 36 neighbourhoods, 32 ones have a population, and a questionnaire has been distributed among these 32 neighbourhoods. According to this, the number of samples in each neighbourhood is proportional to the share of the population of each one. The questionnaires of this research were distributed among 386 citizens of Bandar Mahshahr neighbourhoods to measure the liveability variables.  Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and stepwise multiple regression were used to examine the relationship between variables in neighbourhoods. ArcGIS107.1 software has been exploited for spatial analysis of this information in Bandar Mahshahr neighbourhoods.
Results and discussion
The reliability of the research questionnaire is based on Cronbach's alpha coefficient of 0.83, which indicates the suitability of this tool. The validity of the questionnaire was 0.79. Therefore, the present questionnaire has the necessary validity in measuring the dimensions and variables of the research. As shown in table (4), in three steps, the dimensions of liveability (leisure and recreation infrastructure, employment and economy, security, facilities and services, environment, housing characteristics, transportation facilities, health household characteristics, governance and civic characteristics, facilities and equipment) have been able to predict housing efficiency.  Based on what is presented in table (5), during the first step, only leisure and recreation infrastructure, employment and economy, security, facilities and services, environment with standard beta coefficient of 0.446, 20% of quality variance explained life in the city of Mahshahr. In the second step, the characteristics of housing, transportation facilities, health and hygiene with a standard beta coefficient of 0.2, to the infrastructure of leisure and recreation, employment and economy, security, facilities and services, environment (with standard beta coefficient 0.446) has been added and the ability to explain the quality of life has been increased to 0.23%, of which 0.036% has been exclusively and added related to housing, transportation facilities, health and hygiene. In the third step, household characteristics, governance and civil characteristics, facilities and equipment with a standard beta coefficient of 0.134, have been added to the mentioned dimensions and the ability to explain efficiency has been increased to 0.25%, of which 0.016 percent was exclusively and additionally related to household characteristics, governance and civil characteristics, facilities and equipment. It should be noted that none of the biodegradability dimensions have been excluded from the analysis.
The results show that neighbourhoods No. 12 (phase 4), 2, 1 (new Mahshahr) and 14 (phase 3) have the highest level of liveability, while neighbourhoods No. 32 (phase 7), 17 (old Mahshahr), 3 (Nopag), and 24 (Taleghani town) have the lowest liveability. The more liveable areas correspond mainly to the new Mahshahr (corporate neighbourhoods) and the less liveable ones to the old Mahshahr (old neighbourhoods) and the migrant working-class suburbs. On the other hand, the southwest and south neighbourhoods are more liveable and the east ones of the city are less liveable.


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