Explaining the Crystallization of Power in Urban Land Planning the Case Study of Qazvin Orchards

Document Type : Article extracted From phd dissertation


1 Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran

2 Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin, Iran.



Explaining the Crystallization of Power in Urban Land Planning the Case Study of Qazvin Orchards
The territory of Iran and its urban spaces in particular has found its current shape and order in the interactions of political-economic forces. Therefore, any fundamental analysis of this space requires a detailed knowledge of the actors (or in other words, the actors and their political and economic relations) and the interactions between them. Such an approach has been the main goal of the current research in the example of Qazvin city, as an example of the historical and industrial cities of the country. The research method used in terms of the type of qualitative analysis and according to the purpose of the research was fundamental. The grounded theory method is used as the main foundation of the research with an in-depth interview tool in the form of an open questionnaire according to the opinion of experts. It should be noted that the sample size was selected using the cluster technique 30 people were selected and the analytical software of the research was MAXQDA. The findings of the research identified the factors of the destruction of traditional Qazvin gardens as a concrete manifestation of the action of various power actors in the city of Qazvin, and based on this, the expansion of the ring road was identified as the means of this destruction, which was realized in the coordination of interested and competent institutions as well as non-native capitalism in general. Also, the results of the research indicate that the rentier economy, the absence of the tax system, the Islamic inheritance law, quantification as a tool for measuring the performance of management, along the absence of free media, etc. They provide a public good
Extended Abstract
The territory of Iran, and in particular its urban spaces, has found its current form in the interactions of political-economic forces. Therefore, any fundamental analysis of this space requires accurate knowledge of the actors and their interactions. The sum of social, economic, governance developments, and political ideologies governing society, each as influential stakeholders, has a prominent role in shaping contemporary Iranian cities. In this regard, the issue of how political, economic, social, and legal documents have affected the physical structure of cities in this land as well as how it has affected the decision-making process of urban development in Qazvin, has been studied in this paper. Also, the structures of power in the physical and spatial development of Qazvin have been explained. In this regard, the main question of this research can be posed as:
-What is the relationship between power factors and urban land policy in Qazvin?
In the present paper, the research method was qualitative analysis as well as being fundamental according to the purpose of the research. It is noteworthy that the grounded theory method as the main foundation of research was used. Also, the tools of gathering information were an open questionnaire according to the opinion of 30 former mayors, experts and experts has been done in cluster interview. In order to validate the results of the interview, spatial and field survey data were used. Significantly, that the updated MAXQDA software has been used for data analysis.
Results and discussion
The findings of the study indicated that the factors affecting the destruction of traditional gardens in Qazvin, which if paid attention to these cases, the garden gardens out of the circle of power and the risk of permanent destruction is prevented, which was as follows:
Incomplete planning program: Land management of Iran as the best type of population distribution and activity in the territory of Iran, in different periods and stages in the contemporary history of the country, had been emphasized and considered, but the end product of unbalanced distribution and density of population and activity. As a result, efforts have been made to reduce density in high-density areas in the form of projects such as the transfer of industries within a radius of 120 km from Tehran, which had practically led to the industrialization of cities located within the mentioned radius.
Custom and law: one of the most important problems that threaten traditional gardens was the fragmentation and separation of large gardens into small parts according to Islamic inheritance law and the division of property between heirs. The structure of law based on Islamic precepts could also be considered as one of the factors intensifying power and limiting the power of planning with the presumption of public good.
Non-native capitalism: The traditional gardens of Qazvin had been created as a favorable opportunity for non-native and indigenous land eaters. This group with high experience in this process can make huge profits by buying these gardens at the rate of gardens and agricultural land, changing their use and selling them. The process of centrist power has again directed profits in favor of the centrists.
Industrial development: Industrial development had been discussed with the establishment of an industrial town in ​​gardens, water, and polluting industries. Based on industrial development, with the establishment of an industrial town in the area of ​​gardens, the higher income generation of the industry compared to horticulture led to the establishment of industrial facilities on the outskirts of these gardens and accelerated their destruction. Stakeholder groups: Inefficient consulting engineers was one of the issues raised in stakeholder groups. They did not have the community to study, but they did not need to respond. Infrastructure factors: Roads in combination with other types of urban facilities were destructive to natural lands. Their creation was a prerequisite and the primary factor of major land use, changing the surrounding environment.
According to experts, the growth of the city in the northern direction had led to the destruction of the northern gardens of the city, and every day more and more agricultural land and orchards were sacrificed for urban development. Under the will of government institutions and organizations, traditional gardens of the city, influential people had been captured and changed their use. Road construction had been one of the prerequisites for such a process. Promoting organizational transparency in the form of publishing the list of income, expenses, contracts, tenders, employment processes of Qazvin Municipality, increasing oversight-accountability, conducting interviews with journalists of different groups in the form of press conferences to improve the image of the municipality as a collection institution Waste and responsible for street construction and efforts to attract academic elites and academic professionals to achieve sustainable revenue generation strategies were among the strategies proposed in line with the purpose of the article.
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.


  1. Ajorlou, I., & Taheri, D. (2016). Introduction to the concepts of public law Study of the concept of political power. Guardian Council Research Institute, Office of Islamic Systems Studies, Tehran. [in Persian].
  2. Aunphattanasilp, Ch. (2019). Civil society coalitions, power relations, and socio-political ideas: Discourse creation and redesigning energy policies and actor networks in Thailand. Energy Research & Social Science, 58, 101-271. doi: 10.1016/j.erss.2019.101271.
  3. Belz, T., Hagen, D., & Steffens, Ch. (2019). Taxes and firm size: Political cost or political power?. Journal of Accounting Literature, 42,1-28. doi: 10.1016/j.acclit.2018.12.001.
  4. Carozzi, F., & Repetto, L. (2019). Distributive politics inside the city? The political economy of Spain's Plan E. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 75, 85-106. doi:10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2019.02.002.
  5. Dobrucka, L. (2018). When planners depend on powerful actors: Automatism versus intentions. Planning Theory, 17(2), 234-252. doi:10.1177/1473095217698725.
  6. Dunleavy, P. (2012). Urban Political Analysis. London: Macmillan.
  7. Harris, J., Russell, Z., Maher, L., & Ferris, G. (2015). Power, Politics, and Influence in Organizations. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences (Second Edition). J. D. Wright. Oxford, Elsevier.
  8. Hoang, K. D., & Lee, H.H. (2018). Accurate power sharing with balanced battery state of charge in distributed DC microgrid. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 66(3), 1883-1893. doi:10.1109/TIE.2018.2838107.
  9. Karki, T. K. (2017) Should planners join politics? Would that help them make better cities. Planning Theory, 16(2),186-202. doi:10.1177/147309521560204.
  10. Kamete, A. (2012). Interrogating planning’s power in an African city: Time for reorientation. Journal of Planning Theory, 11(1), 66–88. doi:10.1177/1473095211419116.
  11. Kazemian, Gh. (2007). An Introduction to the Model of Urban Governance, Quarterly Journal of Urban Studies, 19(20), 5-7. [in Persian].
  12. Kissfazekas, K. (2015). Relationships between politics, cities and architecture based on the examples of two Hungarian New Towns. Cities, 48, 99-108. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2015.06.007.
  13. Lashkari tafreshi, E., Rezaei, M., & Kaviyanpoor, G. (2017). Theoretical Explanation of Functions of Political Power in Urban Space. GeoRes, 32(2), 52-66. doi:10.18869/acadpub.geores.32.2.52.
  14.  [in Persian].
  15. Li, L., Lien, D., Wu, Y., & Zhao, Y. (2017). Enforcement and Political Power in Anticorruption Evidence from China. World Development, 98, 133-147. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2017.04.015.
  16. -Luukkonen, J. & Sirviö, H. (2019). The politics of depoliticization and the constitution of city-regionalism as a dominant spatial-political imaginary in Finland. Political Geography, 73, 17-27. doi:10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.05.004.
  17. Maalsen, S. (2019). I cannot afford to live alone in this city and I enjoy the company of others: why people are sharing housing in Sydney. Australian geographer,50(3), 315-332. doi: 10.1080/00049182.2019.1613026.
  18. Meshkini, A., Pazira, S., & Ghaedrahmati, S. (2021). Analyzing of the Institutional Capacity of Local Management for Good Governance in Urban Land of Iran. Journal of Sustainable city, 4(1), 15-31, doi: 10.22034/jsc.2021.270240.1403. [in Persian].
  19. Meshkini, A., & Normohamadi, M. (2018). A Critique of Urban land Management in Developing Countries (Case Study: Iran). Human Geography Research, 50(4), 809-829, doi: 10.22059/jhgr.2017.60530. [in Persian].
  20. Meshkini, A., Normohamadi, M., Rokanuddin Eftekhari, A., & Sarafi, M. (2015). Model for Policy Making regarding Government Intervention in urban land management of Iran (Case study: Tehran). MJSP, 19(1),181-210, [in Persian].
  21. Meshkini, A., Sajjadi, J., & Tafakari, A. (2011). The Impact of Government Land and Housing Transfer Policies on the Physical Development of Iranian Cities (Case Study: Kermanshah). Geography and Development, 9 (23), 67-47. doi: 10.22111/GDIJ.2011.545 [in Persian].
  22. Muchadenyika, D. & Williams, J. (2017). Politics and the practice of planning: The case of Zimbabwean cities. Cities, 63, 33-40. doi: 10.1016/j.cities.2016.12.022.
  23. Murphy, K. & Fox, M. (2017). Towards a consensus regarding global signal regression for resting state functional connectivity MRI. Neuroimage, 154,169-173. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.11.052.
  24. Nejad Bahram, Z. & Jalili, S. M. (2020). Explaining the concept of city power and its effects on the development process of Tehran. Armanshahr architecture and urban planning, 33(13), 269-280. doi: 10.22034/aaud.2020.208096.2037. [in Persian].
  25. Nightingale, A. J. (2017). Power and politics in climate change adaptation efforts: Struggles over authority and recognition in the context of political instability. Geoforum, 84, 11-20. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.05.011.
  26. Rahimi, M. (2018). Study and analysis of elements of urban power in historical and contemporary periods, Journal of Iranian Studies, 33(17), 155-176. doi:10.22103/jis.2018.2108. [in Persian].
  27. Rashid, M., & Alobaydi, D. (2015). Territory, politics of power, and physical spatial networks: The case of Baghdad, Iraq. Habitat International, 50, 180-194.
  28. Spiegel, S. J. (2017). EIAs, power and political ecology: Situating resource struggles and the techno-politics of small-scale mining. Geoforum, 87, 95-107. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.10.010.
  29. Tavassolian, R., Rostaei, Sh., Heydarichiyaneh, A., & Asgarizamani, R. (2019). Analysis of the Residential Land Supply Policies, production of Rent Space and Urban Construction Coherence (Case Study: Zanjan City). Journal of Sustainable city, 2(3), 79-95. doi: 10.22034/jsc.2019.190701.1048. [in Persian].
  30. Unphattanasilp, Ch. (2019). Civil society coalitions, power relations, and socio-political ideas: Discourse creation and redesigning energy policies and actor networks in Thailand, Energy Research & Social Science, 58, 101-271.doi:10.1016/j.erss.2019.101271.