Assessment the Relationship between Communicative Action and Sustainability, a Case of Tehran City

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of urban planning and design, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Islamic Azad University, Qazvin Branch

2 گروه شهرسازی، دانشگاه تهران


Development of communicative action theory in urban planning, has introduced new perspectives in the contexts such as public interest, urban justice, equal social and economic opportunities, empowering deprived urban classes, rejecting the dominance over nature, participation of people, and rejection of the sovereignty of power and money. Considering that the way of achieving urban sustainability is to pay attention to social dimensions along with economic and environmental dimensions and to establish a balanced relationship between them, this research considers communicative action theory as one of the most important areas of sustainability, and believes that for going toward the sustainability; a relationship between stakeholders should be exist from the lower policy levels to the highest levels, and sustainability will not be possible if this discourse and communication is distorted. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between communicative action and urban sustainability. In this regard, research hypotheses have been developed that indicate a significant relationship between communicative action and urban sustainability in Tehran city as a case study.

In this paper, the concept of communicative action includes indicators which are presence in urban space, communicative rationality, critical point of view and social capital; and the concept of sustainability includes the dimensions which are social, economic, environmental, physical, institutional and political; and the relationship between these mentioned variables and dimensions has been investigated. This research is descriptive-analytical. The theoretical framework of this research is based on documentary studies and its operational part is conducted with quantitative analysis based on field study. Based on multistage cluster sampling, region three in the north, region ten in the center and region nineteen in the south of Tehran city were selected. These regions were located on the basis of development indicators such as “housing, education, employment, demographic indicators, access to information; and infrastructure” and were identified respectively as developed, moderate developed and underdeveloped region. Sample size was divided according to the distribution of the population of the administrative neighborhoods of the regions and ultimately (according to the sampling rules) the results will be generalized to the whole city of Tehran. The number of samples based on the Cochran formula was estimated to be 384 that were distributed in proportion to the number of neighborhoods in each of these three regions. The research hypotheses were analyzed by SPSS software.

Results and discussion
Reliability of the researcher-made questionnaire of this paper was measured by Cronbach's alpha test and shows that the questionnaire has a high reliability. The questionnaire is also based on content validity and has been reviewed several times. Structural validity (factor analysis) was measured using the KMO test, which indicates the fitting of the data, and the Bartlett test, which suggests that there is the possibility of performing factor analysis on research data. The ten extracted factors are the result of 55 items that have been used in subsequent analyzes.
Communicative action analysis was performed based on four components of presence in urban space, communicative rationality, critical point of view and social capital. According to Kruskal-Wallis test, at 99% significance level, the communicative action is different among three regions of Tehran City, so that the third region with the average score of 161.27 has the highest communicative action. These differences indicate that Tehran does not follow a single pattern. But in all three regions, social capital is the highest among the other indexes.
The Pearson correlation test was used to identify the relationship between communicative action and urban sustainability. The relationship between communicative action and urban sustainability is significant using Pearson correlation test with a confidence level of 99%, and Pearson coefficient of this relation is about 0.617 in Tehran, which indicates a high correlation between these two concepts. In other words, the reduction or increase of communicative action has a direct and high impact on the sustainability of the city.
The results also show that the relationship between communicative action and sustainability is different between the three regions. Thus, the correlation between these two concepts in region three by using Pearson coefficient is 0.635 which is more than of region ten with Pearson coefficient of 0.507 and of the nineteen region with Pearson coefficient of 0.381.
In this research, the relationship between communicative action and various dimensions of sustainability has also been evaluated. The relationship between communicative action with social, economic, environmental, physical, institutional and political dimensions of urban sustainability has been measured by Pearson correlation test. The results show that the relationship between communicative action and all dimensions of sustainability is significant at 99% confidence level and the relationship between communicative action and political dimension of sustainability with coefficient of 0.613, social dimension with coefficient of 0.608 and institutional dimension with coefficient of 59.22 is higher among other dimensions.

The results show that the changes in communicative action have a direct and significant impact on urban sustainability and all its dimensions; and strengthening communicative action can lead to increase all dimensions of sustainability in Tehran city. In addition, the relationship between communicative action and sustainability varies between the three urban regions. Results show that this relationship in region three is greater than that of region ten; and in the region ten it is more than region nineteen.
The third hypothesis of this research is devoted to the relationship between communicative action and the income. The results show that there is a positive and poor correlation between these two variables. With the conclusion of the second and third hypotheses, it can be concluded that the relationship between communicative action and sustainability in a region is more appropriate with the economic conditions. By substantiating the assumptions of this research, its claim to consider communicative action as one of the most important areas of sustainability is accepted.


Main Subjects

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