The Influence of Functional Changes on Repopulation (The Case Study: Shandiz District of Mashhad)



Extended Abstract

In new approaches to rural and regional development, the surrounding areas of metropolitan cities is considered as a valuable capital which is dedicated to general and non-agricultural process to reach the goals of economic change. These areas are subject to significant rural-urban and return migration. Shandiz district with a population of 21 thousand and 315 square kilometers, located in west of Mashhad metropolis, because of significant functional changes has reached population stability. Migration is a movement to get adapted to economic and social changes and is the result of various elements. Therefore, in this study a variety of indexes in form of economic, social, environmental and human capital were analyzed as independent variables correlating with dependant variable-migration.
The main hypothesis of this study is that the variety of economic activities especially tourism, wood and furniture industries, retail business and restaurant industries has had significant effects in population increase in Shandiz repopulation.

This study is conducted in a descriptive-analytical comparative method. In this study, migration is the independent variable and economic, social –cultural, human and environmental indexes are dependant variables. Statistical methods used to analyze the variables include correlation regression, T-student, Chi-Square, U-Mann Whitney with SPSS software.

Results and Discussion
From 1996 increase in economic activities like wood and furniture industries, stonecutting, restaurant industries and second home increase have led to population stability in Shandiz district, located in periphery of Mashhad. From total number of 14 villages of 20 and more households, seven villages have immigration position. The study results, analyzed by correlation regression, T-student, Chi-square and U-Mann Whitney, show that there is totally significant difference between villages in term of migration situation in economic and human indexes. Considering human capital index, the following variables have paved the way to population stability: Variables related with literacy rate, skilled work force, aging population, poverty and variables related with economic capital such as employment growth rate in wood and furniture industries, tourism and retail business in attractive villages.
From 1996 to 2006 employment sectors have changed from dominantly agricultural to dominantly public services. This change was the same in native population and returned migrants. Therefore, the continuous increase in public services seemed unavoidable.
Agricultural changes between 1996 to 2006 reveal that was a decrease in irrigated farming lands compared to gardening and stockbreeding. Increase in gardening was the result of value-added, ownership stability, increase of second home and stockbreeding, due to low ownership of land and increase of restaurant industries have accrued the same time.

Many of functional changes in Shandiz district were the result of condense urban population of Mashhad. In fact, dependence of urban population to attractive surrounding of Shandiz and population movement have created a good opportunity for stable population and livelihood resistance. The condition of the study area, according to 'Oilman' and 'Whirs' theories are related to supplementary functions and integrity of Mashhad metropolis with its periphery areas.
Various and new sources of income, especially those which are related with tourism and local policy, including development of road infrastructures, increase in services and selecting the area as international tourism resort have been effective in stability of the population, return-migration and urban investment. As a result, villages attracting population are significantly different from other villages in economic and human indexes. The following are among the priorities of Shandiz: Land preparation plans stressing on proper utilization of farming lands. Maintaining the quality of environment, Expanding the economic and resort areas like gardens-parks, sport complexes for swimming and riding, Green-house culture, Comparatively small scale residential units and Local markets.