Spatial and Functional Analysis of Tehran APS With Emphasis on City Connection to World Cities Network A Case study of Asia Insurance Broker Firms

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Tehran, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of Mohagheghe Ardabili, Iran

3 MS., Geography & Urban Planning, University of Shahid Beheshti, Iran


Much of the cities restructuring are influenced by places, firms, and networked connectivity between them in an economic globalization era. This article begins with explanation of Advanced Producer Services (APS) and Insurance service's importance in cities Eco-Spatial restructuring with emphasizing on spatial and functional behavior of insurance firms in a Tehran metropolis. The main purpose of this article is to examine the determinants of location decision making by insurance firms as well as their transnational function in Tehran’s connectivity in the World Cities Network. Analyses of data collected from 45 firms of almost 150, by means of questionnaires, interviews, and published documents reveal three main findings: First, Tehran is a national command and control center of insurance as APS sector in Iran. Second, a new sector of corporate based economy has formed in conjunction with Tehran CBD in the last two decades and firms moving to northern areas of Tehran. Finally, despite the high potential of Tehran for participation in the global cities network, for the time being, Tehran has a very weak status in connection to the World Cities Network, Tehran is not yet a world city. Growth of the recent capitalism, information revolution, and globalization offered new functions to cities. In this process cities get new functions in service sector. One of them is “Advanced Producer Services” (APS) including accountancy and auditing services. Those services support many economic sectors in cities to enhance their efficiency. In this article we have studied corporate geography of Advanced Producer Services Firms (APSFs) with emphasis on ASIA Insurance Broker Firms.
In this paper, we have used documents and survey studies including questionnaire and interviews to obtain conclusions. We use some analytical instruments and software such as ArcGIS10, SPSS19 and also statistical analysis methods to test and examine the hypnosis. We collected data from 45 firms from nearly 150 as samples to the survey. The research has functional and spatial variables. Thus, with the theoretical framework, APS sector and its location define the determinants in Tehran Metropolis. The variables are:
-        Formation of companies
-        Buildings type
-        Access to the CBD
-        Access to transport
-        Reasons for Moving
-        Firms Location
-        Access to customers
-        Size of firms
-        Year of establishment
-        Labor
-        Use of Information Technology
-        Face-to-face encounters
-        Connection to the cities of the world
-        Reasons for international links
Results and discussion
In this paper, we have studied corporate geography of APS in Tehran metropolis by using variables such as accessibility to transportation network, CBD, land cost, ICT, firm size, hinterland, global city network connectivity, and other variables. We have used some documents for studying location determinants and characteristics of the Insurance Broker Firms (IBFs) in the city. The research has tried to show the relation between APS transportation network, CBD, land cost, and other determinants in the city.
The study also examine APS more density regions in municipality concentrated APS and movements of APS to qualified environments. The most important findings of this present research are:
1. Over ninety percent of insurance companies are formed in Tehran in the past two decades and they have grown.
2. All major insurance companies are concentrated in Tehran as a command center of headquarters in insurance sector of Iran
3. In addition to the Central Bussiness District (CBD), a new district is formed by the most advanced service companies in the city.
4. Tehran Metropolis, have not had an advanced urban center to absorb foreign companies. Most service companies have been spred in the highest quality residential areas.
5. In the urban geography of Tehran, foreign and international companies operating in the financial and insurance sector dont have a tangible presence.
In this research, we have found that initially a new corporate services-based sector has been shaped in the recent years and extended to the north of Tehran and suburbs with a high environmental quality. Secondly, AAFs in Tehran don’t have international functions and they have a weak relation to the global cities' networks. Finally, this can be concluded that, although Tehran has high capacity in international relations and participating in the global cities network, it is not yet a world city; its accountancy and auditing sector is a good example of this situation. Tehran urban management must provide strategies to empowerment and enhancement in corporate services-based economy to work with transnational functions. Tehran needs to have APS sector to connect to the Global City Network. To enter into this vision, the urban management is required to scrutinize and apply for appropriate programs as soon as possible.Given that the impact of the sanctions on the economy of city has been doubled, but corrective and preventive actions in this field has not yet been done.
In the recent years, Tehran has tried to improve the city environment for international events. Among them we can mention the improved public transport and urban green spaces. However, the efforts have not been conductedin APS. For Tehran it is necessary to improve its international and inter-city relations. For this, spatial planning and reforms in political, social, and cultural sectorsare indispensable. Advanced services such as insurance sector are very fragile and delicate in competition with the world. It requires careful forethought and planning.


Main Subjects

  • Receive Date: 13 March 2012
  • Revise Date: 09 September 2013
  • Accept Date: 17 October 2012
  • First Publish Date: 22 June 2014