Sustainable development that became the newest approach in last periods in apposition of scientific current theories and practical policies is a reaction for a kind of development which is not sustained and sustainable in long term and short term for all of human being. One of the most issues in sustainable development is the analysis of sustainability level of a number of cities or different zones of a city or town. Informal settlement which resulted from rapid and unplanned physical development is a challenge for applying sustainable development. Nowadays all of cities in all around of the world faced with this urban problem. For instance, Engels pointed out to informal settlement in England resulted from industrial revolution. According to current statistics, there are more than 8 million people who live in informal settlements in Iranian cities, so this encourage attention to this in studies like this paper.
With the raising of urban sustainable development and paying attention to all aspects of a city like environmental, economical, and cultural aspects as the basic of urban sustainable development, the problem of informal settlement arrived a new phase and liberal art scholars studied informal settlements in cities holistically and geographically. As the result of that, the informal settlement phenomenon is expanding rapidly and irregularly. This phenomenon had a descriptive – definitive aspect in previous years and before seventies in Iran, but after nineties and the development of this phenomenon, not only did it influence the limit of informal settlement, but also influenced an area.
Informal settlement is poverty and inequality in one hand and neglecting low-income groups in planning specially housing and physical planning in other hand. Economic poverty, inequality distribution and concentration of wealth and in developing countries like Iran result in vast emigration in order to achieving using from job opportunity, income, more services and facilities and hope to better life. In this process, low income and saving of emigrants cause to not inhabit in downtown and thus they forced to dwell in periphery parts of cities.
This paper is analyzing sustainability level (physical, cultural, social and economical) of informal settlements in Sanandaj city in west Iran that has more than 10 informal neighborhoods with a total of 197532 inhabitant people based on 2007 census. Firstly, approaches and points of view about the reasons of informal settlement pointed out like liberalism, non-liberalism, political economy, new socialist. The methodology is based on questionnaire. Therefore, with the way of accidental sampling and close questionnaire, 150 sample used and the resulted analyzes in SPSS and Excel software. Because sustainable development has 3 main aspect or dimension (physical, social-economical and cultural aspects), we introduce a few indexes in each part. In physical aspect used following: slope, urban land per capita, kind of building materials. Results in this part show that most of the construction located in high slope places and have unstable materials in construction, and the average land per capita in Sanandaj informal settlements is just 25 meters that is much fewer than average of Iranian cities (about 75 meters). In cultural and social part, the analphabet percent in those settlements is much fewer than Iran, Sanandaj and Kordestan province, family is more extended as well, and they do not have enough space for pleasure and free time that cause to have bad ways for spending their free times like staying in home, visiting relatives, wasting time in streets, chat with neighborhoods, and finally going to traditional coffee shops. People who live in these zones of city spend their fewest free time to study. In economic dimension surveyed resulted show that most of inhabitants are workers, blue color and have jobs like informal business. In addition to this, household income is so low that about 90 percents of them are under poverty line and some families live with a wage lower than 100 dollars per month. Unemployment percent is another studied factor that is 36 percent that is high in comparison with Iran percent that is %15 and Sanandaj is %25.9 and Kordestan province is %20.5. All of the selected factors show that sustainability level of informal settlement in study area is much lower and it shows that policy makers, decision makers, administrations and staff should attention more and more to this unsustainable regions of city in the plans and should locate these people in the head and focus of planning. Because informal settlement in other Iranian cities are like Sanandaj, resulted can use for others.