Assessment of the Impacts of Constructing Tehran-North Highway on the Rural Areas of Kan- Souleghan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of geography and rural planning, member of Urban Planning Studies Center, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 MA in geography and rural planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 PhD candidate in geography and rural planning, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran

4 Young Researchers and Elite Club, Khalkhal Branch, Islamic Azad University, Khalkhal, Iran


One of the most important requirements of different countries to achieve development is use of transportation methods for movement of goods and services in less time and with greater safety. Construction and exploitation of roads in countries including Iran  can cause many problems if they do not pay enough attention to environmental issues. The results of these issues will affect sustainable development. Construction of Tehran - North Freeway is one of the ongoing projects that can have various environmental impacts on Kan Souleghan District. Questions which are raised in this study are on the base of two main areas as follow:
What are the impacts of Tehran - North Highway construction on the Kan – souloghan rural area?
To reduce the negative effects of the Tehran-North highway on the villages, which strategies can be used to reform and rehabilitate the highway projects?
This study is going to explore the effects of road construction on the environment from different aspects. It emphasizes on the natural environment of rural areas, such as Kan-Souleghan district. In this paper, the domination of economic benefits in this area beside other natural environment aspects in rural areas is also going to be discussed.
This research has been conducted on the basis of survey approach with applied method. The data has been collected from local community and the expert teams are involving in the road construction. We also got the advantages of using documents addition to field works. Meanwhile observation was a main tool for assessment of the environmental erosion. Understanding a diversity of standpoints often exist with regard to the effects of development projects, an effort was made to capture input from a broad range of places and groups. The groups are villagers of varied ages and both genders, and with different occupations, concerning attitudes towards highway construction. In addition, many informal interviews and discussions were held with the residents concerning their feelings about women participation and their status in family and society. In addition, on-site observations were conducted about the people attitudes towards highway development project.
The research has been analyzed on Iranian matrix method, using (Leopold changed model by Makhdoom, 1997). This study conducted many steps as follow:
1. The project was split into components (small and micro-environmental action). It means that the activities may affect the environment in the planning and construction of the highway was determined.
2. Secondly, the relationship between environmental factors and small activities in positive and negative effects were evaluated. The numbers between -5 to +5 Matrix were used to quantify the matrix, which is a combination of a I. Cold and Leopold method.
3. Following the assessment, to determine the effectiveness of the activities and outcomes, number of rows and columns that shows a negative or positive effect, is evaluated separately. Then, the sum of these values is calculated for each row and column counted separately.
4- In the final stage, it will be discovered that whether highway construction activity in general has a positive or negative impact on the rural area, and how these activities should be compatible with the rural environment.
Results and discussion
As research findings showed, more effects and consequences of the construction of Tehran- North Freeway has negative effects on the environment and also on rural natural resources. For this reason, the final evaluation showed that Project of Tehran- North Freeway is executable only with reforms to improve the construction process and create improvement plans and operational guidelines for the adoption process. In fact, it should be mentioned that construction of Tehran- North Freeway not only has potentially the negative effects but it can facilitate the economic and social development of rural communities.
It is therefore essential to reduce the negative effects primarily and secondly to use this potential to benefit rural economic and social development. Thus, in order to improve the benefits of the project and reduce the negative effects of it, the guidelines and recommendations are raised from this research as following:
The most important step in the construction of highway is to train the construction team that do the activities such as operating in the field of drilling and other construction efforts. One of the ways of the highway construction process is to improve the method of construction during or before the construction by legislation about protection of rural environment and natural resources. As it is mentioned above, despite the negative effects of highway, it can have the positive effects both on the economy and culture of the villages, as well. To achieve this goal requires greater participation of rural people in the process of the construction of the highway. In general, to achieve these goals three types of actions in this area is required: protective measures (water and soil); the restoration and rehabilitation (effective use, increase in the knowledge and skills of human resources); the measures to increase efficiency (development of natural resources).
The results of the research shows that although this project has useful effects in reduction of depreciation of vehicles, saving in time drivers, increase in the national income and reduction of traffic, reduction of fuel consumption, and reduction of accidents causes more safety rather than other roads, it has destructive effects upon the biological, geographical, physical environment and tourism condition of  Souleghan District. The results of the model also indicate that this project could be performed by reformation and sanitation. Thus, it has the ability to run different options for reforming and improving the project conditions.


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