Assessing the Challenges of Promoting Urban Governance with a Future Studies Approach the Case Study of Mianeh City

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Marand Branch, Islamic Azad University, Marand, Iran

2 Department of Urban Planning, Maragheh Branch, Islamic Azad University, Maragheh, Iran


The planning processes that city managers direct in the framework of governance against the challenges of urban development, ensure transparency and accountability mechanisms. In this research, while evaluating the challenges of improving urban governance in a medium-sized city in the middle of the city with a future research approach, key factors and connections between them have been analyzed and ranked. The current research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-analytical in terms of methodology. The most important key factors of urban governance were evaluated using the Delphi technique and polling 30 experts, consensus and certainty indicators, and priority and importance to evaluate 43 key drivers in Micmac software. The results show that among the 8 main factors, participation, accountability, justice and legality were the most effective dimensions of the process of urban development. Among the 10 key and important drivers, the variables of the effective role of applying citizens' decisions in the preparation of urban development plans and the accountability of city managers and officials to citizens have been the most important two-faceted and influential variables. The results confirm the fact that the factors of participation, accountability, justice and legality of urban governance affect the process of changes in the middle-aged city, and in such a way that the continuation of the current situation will lead to the formation of a disaster scenario, and in the best case if the current situation continues, changes in the governance system In parallel with the lack of a regular and coherent program and the lack of inter-organizational coordination, the reduction of the level of social empowerment, the lack of strengthening of the local economy and the reduction of the participatory role of citizens, the reduction of the level of private sector investments and the reduction of physical supervision over the built spaces related to the control of all kinds of increasing urban challenges. it will result in.
Extended Abstract
The growing trend has faced cities with three significant challenges highlighting the need to understand the future and plan for it. These three challenges include risk management and uncertainties, sustainable development issues, and democratization issues, which require new tools and methods for thinking about the future in a very complex and unknown environment. Today's civilization has moved more towards urbanization than ever before, and urban growth has had adverse consequences on the frameworks of cities. The dimensions of urban settlements are becoming more complex, and, consequently, security instability is becoming more apparent in urban areas. In this way, urban society, especially in its modern and contemporary forms, is constantly and extensively exposed to various challenges. Urban management must respond to changes in the city, especially citizens, by monitoring and evaluating significant challenges. Its strategic actions must be commensurate with urban issues and developments, be more responsible and accountable than the community, function better as an essential part of the social learning system, and finally, play a vital role in predicting, discovering, and welcoming the future. These processes rely heavily on communication networks within organizations and the community, the systems of official government organizations and their planning systems, and the communication network between them. Under this approach, in the form of a participatory development process, all stakeholders, including government, the private sector, and civil society, provide the means to solve urban problems. Council coalitions, as well as supporting mayors, legislate for institutional support. This study aimed to identify and rank the influential variables and critical drivers of urban governance against the growing urban development challenges in the Mianeh city and analyze the relationship between these variables with a future studies approach.
The present study is part of applied and descriptive-analytical in terms of purpose and methodology, respectively. The most important key factors of urban governance were identified using Delphi technique and opinion of 30 experts, and with the indicators of consensus and certainty, ‌ priority and importance of 43 key drivers in Mic Mac software program were examined. Then, the most important drivers of regeneration were identified and scored using the Delphi method and a questionnaire. Finally, based on 43 sub-drivers in 8 key factors of participation (P), consensus (C), accountability (R), justice (J), legitimacy (L), transparency (T), accountability (Re) and efficiency and effectiveness (E); cross matrices were formed. In the next step, the weights were applied using Mic Mac software, and the intensity of direct and indirect effectiveness and impressionability of variables, and finally, 18 key drivers were identified as the most important ones.
Results and discussion
The results of the study showed that among the 18 factors, 10 key and important drivers of central city governance, which are the same two-dimensional and influential variables are as below:
Effective role of citizens in making decisions in urban development plans; accountability of city managers and officials to citizens; neutrality and equality in the law; use of experienced and specialized people in urban management; preference of collective interests over personal ones; the effectiveness of city managers' actions in the face of crisis; accountability of councils and description of urban development programs and plans, especially preventive; meritocracy in the selection of urban managers; involvement with accountability of urban managers in the management of physical development of the city; and requesting city managers from citizens to participate in affairs. Given the key indicators identified, the adoption of strategic and flexible policies to monitor the system of future developments is necessary.
Analysis of data related to various political and institutional, economic, environmental, and ecological factors and other components affecting the governance transformations in the Mianeh city has considered the probability of eight scenarios more than different scenarios. Also, it has assessed the likelihood of other scenarios as very small and weak. These scenarios are derived from the interaction between the situation of each factor and the situation of the other ones. A situation's effect on the probability of occurrence or the reinforcement or empowerment of other conditions, or even their limitation, is the primary basis for forming scenarios. Which requires simultaneously considering very complex factors and situations that the ability to analyze is beyond the human mind, and only intelligent processors can analyze them simultaneously.
In the final part, while formulating eight priority strategies based on the preparation of preventive plans in problem areas, in accordance with local capacities and attention to physical, social, economic, and legal issues, employing and attracting the participation of people and non-governmental organizations in the direction of good urban governance, and efforts to achieve urban unit management, and increase the efficiency of urban management in carrying out development and preventive projects in dysfunctional areas, and government institutional and specialized management as the principal trustee of development; the situation of the critical drivers of urban governance in the transformations, based on the challenges of the transformations of the Mianeh city on the horizon of 2031 was described.
There is no funding support.
Authors’ Contribution
All of the authors approved thecontent of the manuscript and agreed on all aspects of the work.
Conflict of Interest
Authors declared no conflict of interest.
We are grateful to all the scientific consultants of this paper.


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