Evaluation and comparison of ecological footprint of informal settlements residents with formal and planned areas of Urmia

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Urmia university, urban planning departement

2 Department of Urbanism, School of Urbanism, Architecture and Art, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran

3 Department of Urbanism, School of Architecture, Urban Planning and Art, Urmia University, Urmia, Iran


In this research, we tried to compare the environmental impacts of the suburbs and the official neighborhoods of Urmia city using the ecological footprint method. In order to implement the ecological footprint method, a questionnaire was designed with 35 questions that measured the amount of waste consumption and waste generation in all three neighborhoods in 6 main ecological aspects including: "Property, Food Consumption, Clothing, Water, Evaluates energy and transportation. Then ecological footprint and its six dimensions were calculated for the study areas through questionnaire data. The results showed that the ecological footprint of the residents of the informal Kui Laleh neighborhood was in almost all dimensions lower than the Saheli neighborhood and even the Samadzadeh neighborhood of Urmia, so that the ecological footprint of the Saheli residents was approximately 1.505 fold. The subordinate Kui Laleh is also 1.216 times the suburb of Samadzadeh. This means that the inhabitants of the suburbs are more sustainable and optimized in terms of the ecological footprint.
UN estimates show that about 65% of the world's population will be urbanized by the year 2050, reflecting the rapid growth of urbanization (UN, 2017). One of the main causes of the uneven growth of cities is the phenomenon of marginalization, which is caused by the constant migration from the countryside to the cities, which is reflected in various forms such as slum settlement, slum settlement, slum settlement, etc. Social and physical in cities (Bazi et al., 1895: 18). On the other hand, the growth rate of urbanization in developing countries is more than in developed countries. Therefore, the rapid growth of urbanization in developing countries and their poor management and facilities have made marginalization or inferior suburbia one of the major problems in the world (Gholami et al., 2013: 168; Naghdi and Sadeghi, 2006: 213). According to UN estimates, Iran, as one of the developing countries, will be urbanized about 90% of its total population by the year 2050 (UN, 2017). This leads to many problems, including suburbs and informal settlements for many cities in Iran. Unofficial resettlement forms a distinct component of the social and geographical structure of the city. As rural poor migrate to urban centers, the number of people living in informal settlements around the world is expected to reach 1.4 billion by 2020 (Cohen, 2006).
Regional instability is one of the main issues and challenges of the third millennium. One of the most important concerns of the current development process Instability, is the rapid growth of urbanization and its synonymous way of life in the world. The dimensions of urban settlements are becoming more complex day by day and as a result, instability in the urban environment has become apparent (Ziari et al., 2012: 2).
This research is applied in terms of purpose and descriptive-analytical in terms of method. Most of the required information was collected through library documents and field surveys and social surveys were used to complete the items. The population of the study consisted of residents of three neighborhoods of Urmia, including 31808 people (11056 informal neighborhoods of Kui Laleh, 8335 low-income neighborhoods of Samadzadeh, 12417 formal Saheli neighborhoods). After selecting all three study areas, the sample size for the Kui Laleh neighborhood was 95 people, Samadzadeh 94 people and Saheli area 95 people. In total, the total sample size was estimated to be 284; simple random sampling was performed in each neighborhood.
Results and discussion:
Comparing the two marginal neighborhoods, we found that the ecological footprint of the Samadzadeh neighborhood was 1.238 times higher than that of the Kui Laleh neighborhood. Considering that the area of the coastal neighborhood is one of the affluent neighborhoods and has a suitable body among the neighborhoods of Urmia city, this result can show the lifestyle of the residents of this neighborhood and the optimal consumption of the residents of the unofficial neighborhood of Kui Laleh (in The use of food, property, assets and transportation relative to the other two neighborhoods should be studied. Finally, it was found that both suburbs of Kui Laleh and Samadzadeh suburbs consume less resources and consequently bring less pollution and waste into the environment, which means that the lower areas and informal settlements in terms of the concept of "place" "Ecological feet" are more stable. This result was obtained while in the science of urban planning, this concept is obvious that: "The growth of informal and marginalized neighborhoods in land that is not intended for urban use is causing the city to become overly sparse and unplanned, resulting in environmental damage." However, since the concept of ecological JAPI is a social approach, the environmental effects of the "inhabitants" of the suburbs have been studied and compared with the official neighborhoods. As a result, residents of these neighborhoods are more environmentally sustainable than other urban neighborhoods, contrary to the marginalization phenomenon that naturally leads to environmental damage.
The results showed that in spite of the suburbia phenomenon which is inherently causing environmental damage, the inhabitants of these neighborhoods are more environmentally sustainable than other urban neighborhoods. It should be noted, however, that this conclusion should not lead to the impression that the lower the neighborhood and the poorer the neighborhood will impose less ecological footprint on the land. Rather, it can be said that the city's official neighborhoods often lead to environmental instability And in this regard, a green and eco-friendly model is needed to improve the pattern of consumption and reduce the ecological footprint of residents, to improve the quality of life, especially for residents of suburban areas. In addition, the ecological footprint of these three completely different neighborhoods (physically and economically) revealed that the impact of urban neighborhoods on the environment is multifaceted and a better understanding of the social and biological characteristics of informal settlements in addition to physical characteristics. (Which often takes into account the physical properties) can be valuable for making decisions in informal and suburban planning.


Main Subjects

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Volume 53, Issue 3
October 2021
Pages 1073-1087
  • Receive Date: 24 February 2019
  • Revise Date: 15 August 2020
  • Accept Date: 15 August 2020
  • First Publish Date: 23 September 2021