Informal Settlement, Prioritizing Current Challenges Case Study: Jafar Abad District in Kermanshah City

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Geography & Raul Planning, Isfahan University

2 MA in Geography Rural Planning, Isfahan University

3 MA in Geography & Urban Planning, Tarbiat Modares University


Extended Abstract
During the recent decades unorganized and informal settlement neighborhoods gradually
developed on the fringes of large cities. They formed outside of the official program of urban
development. This phenomenon in urban studies is considered as one of the urban injuries.
Informal settlements are mainly concomitant with informal occupancy of land and housing ,
lack of rules, formal and conventional regulations of construction, shortages infacilities and
equipment and urban infrastructural services, fast physical and demographic growth, dominant
informal employment, structural and infrastructural instability, low services per capita, income
instability and ultimately physical grounds for growth of social damages and formation of
deviate subcultures and providing shelter for offenders.
Accumulation of low income and informal employment in informal settlements has
developed a type of unsustainable urbanization that underlying many of the injuries and social
abnormalities. Comprehensive and accurate understanding of the damage is one of the important
aspects in the process of urban pathology. In other words, only with the exact knowledge of the
factors some strategies can be presented for solving these problems. Challenges of
marginalization can also be divided into five general categories: economic challenges, social 
challenges, educational challenges, health challenges, and challenges related to welfare are
general basis of this study.
Iran as a developing country is faced with the problem of informal settlements, as well as
how to deal with this phenomenon. Origin and the formation of informal settlements in Iran can
be similar to those in the developed and underdeveloped countries. However, the comparison of
the intensity and unity is not the same. The traditional way of informal settlements in Iran from
the beginning of 1941 until late 1971, with relatively high intensity, has spread its trend over
time. After the revolution in terms of the formation intensity, this is argued as one of the
fundamental problems of cities in Iran. During this period, following the growth of capitalist
relation and relationships, there were political, economic, social developments and changes.
Based on Studies on marginalization, we can say that the most important features of this
phenomenon is poor construction, social, economic and cultural poverty, unemployment, false
employment, non-compliance with social and individual health, lack of access to health and
educational facilities, increased crime, corruption, prostitution, drug overdose compared with
other urban areas and etc. On the other hand, the growth and development of marginalized areas
can now be observed around the large cities such as Tehran, Mashhad , Shiraz, Kerman, Isfahan
and other cities.
Kermanshah City, due to its rapid economic development in recent decades, especially in
1990s saw the presence of large population in native villages and nonnative villages (the
provinces of Ilam and Lorestan). These people for taking advantage of economic opportunities
migrate to the city. The high rate of immigrant population and lack of services and the lack of
control, on the other hand, create a broad range of disorganized and informal settlements around
the city.
The formation of this phenomenon, along with a number of issues that is not limited to
marginalized areas affects the whole of a city. So, the outcome of this phenomenon is the
incidence of abnormalities in the context of urbanization. Marginalized people, employment in
informal and false jobs, presence of unauthorized constructions, inability of municipalities to
provide adequate services in these areas, environmental pollution, unfavorable cultural,
economic, social, political effects of these area on the whole urban area are destructive and
harmful effects of marginalization and informal settlements. Thus, study and investigation of
these challenges and how to reduce them are important for urban planning. Given the
importance of marginalization, as well as the importance of historical and cultural city of
Kermanshah, it is necessary to pay attention to the understanding of this subject and its trend.
The purpose of this research is to identify and prioritize issues and problems of informal
settlement in Jafarabad neighborhood, in city of Kermanshah. For this we used survey research
method. The population of this study is comprised of 1500 households in Jafarabad
marginalized neighborhood. In this study, using Cochran's formula and the error probability of
0.1, 128 households were selected as samples by random sampling method. Information was
collected through questionnaires. Results were analyzed using Analytic Hierarchical Approach 
(AHP) and Expert Choice software in 8 steps in order to prioritize the challenges and problems
of the marginalization in the economic, social, health, welfare and education dimensions.
Results and Discussion
At first, the comparative study was conducted according to included criteria as pairwise
comparisons. At this stage a couple of criteria, according to the study were compared pairwise.
According to the results, unemployment criterion with 0.289 and standard income criterion with
0.179 are the greatest problems in this area.
In the final stage, for weighting the choices, the integration took place. Results of the
combined problems of marginalization, in the study area, indicated that among the challenges in
the study area, the economic factors with ratio 0.334 have more importance than other factors.
In contrast, the health factor with ratio 0.101 has the lowest priority. Welfare and social factors
have the second and third priorities.
Finally, it can be concluded that the challenges of Jafarabad marginalized neighborhood are the
social, economic, education, health and welfare factors in order. To justify these rankings it can
be said that as more than 70 percent of residents in this region are illiterate or with primary
education, thus enabling them to find work for non-union jobs is impossible. Furthermore, most
of the people are immigrants from the villages around the city that migrated due to
unemployment or reduced farm income, which is caused by drought.


Main Subjects

Volume 45, Issue 4 - Serial Number 4
January 2014
Pages 221-242
  • Receive Date: 15 December 2012
  • Revise Date: 18 January 2014
  • Accept Date: 10 March 2013
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2013