Strategic Analysis of the Application of Good Governance in the Sustainable Development of Coastal Cities (Case Study: Babolsar, Noor and Ramsar Cities)

Document Type : Extracted from the dissertation


1 Ph.D. student, Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Islamic Azad University, Mazandaran Province, Noor Branch, Noor, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Azad Islamic University, Mazandaran Province, Noor Branch, Noor, Iran

3 Assistant Professor, Azad Islamic University, Mazandaran Province, Noor Branch, Noor, Iran




Urban governance is the relationship between the city government and citizens, which emphasizes strengthening the public sphere. On the other hand, new views in urban management indicate that topics such as participatory approach, governance of metropolises, and strategic urban management, in contrast to centralized and top-down approaches, are considered to make management participatory and flexible in urban management. In this way, urban management should have components such as transparency, accountability, participation, rule of law, effectiveness and efficiency, justice, consensual orientation, and strategic vision. On the other hand, in order to achieve sustainable urban development, the concept of good urban governance is suggested. In the meantime, city managers can design and apply good urban governance to realize "sustainable urban development" and provide a sustainable city." In fact, sustainable development in a city is possible through participatory decision-making and establishing social justice at the local level in the form of good urban governance. Since most of the local governments face many problems in the way of city administration due to structural problems and are unable to provide proper and desirable services to the people, it is necessary to follow the model of good urban governance in city administration and transition from governments. Traditionally, the realization of good urban governance can be done by involving people in city administration, transparency, accountability, and responsibility. In this regard, the investigation and study of the governance situation in the three coastal cities of Noor, Babolsar, and Ramsar concerning the touristic nature of these cities and the existence of environmental, economic, and social structural-functional challenges due to the rapid growth of the urban population, uneven physical expansion, imbalance the social environment and the influx of people from rural areas and other provinces, the establishment of disproportionate uses, the incorrect use of the rules and regulations of detailed plans, unplanned constructions, the absence of an integrated management system, environmental pollution and weak local governance is essential. Based on this, this article seeks to answer these questions:

- What is the current state of urban governance and sustainable development indicators in the coastal cities of Babolsar, and Noor and Ramsar?

- And how can a good urban governance model help the sustainable development of these cities?


With a descriptive-analytical method, the present research seeks to investigate and analyze the strategic approach of good governance in the sustainable development of coastal cities from east to west of Mazandaran province (for example, Babolsar, Noor, and Ramsar cities). The statistical population also includes the group of urban planning experts; 30 people were selected by snowball sampling. For data analysis, the one-sample t-test, the partial least squares approach, and the equilibrium interaction effect analysis approach were used with the help of Scenario Wizard, SPSS, and Smart PLS software.

Results and discussion

The findings of the research showed that the variable of urban governance and the variable of sustainable development in the cities of Babolsar and Noor are at the average level and in the city of Ramsar are also below the average level. Meanwhile, the statistical correlation studies showed that the correlation and causal relationships of the 9 governance indicators have led to the improvement of 0.601 units of the sustainable development component. Thus, it can be said that due to the significant relationship between these two factors, good urban governance in the three cities of Babolsar, Noor and Ramsar was not acceptable, so the sustainable development index could not reach the required standards. In addition, in relation to the answer to the first question of the research, "What is the current state of urban governance and indicators of sustainable development in the coastal cities of Babolsar, Noor and Ramsar?" The average and coefficient of urban governance index is equal to 2.87 and the coefficient is 6.153 in average. And the sustainable development index is equal to 2.85 and the coefficient is 9.646 a little better than Hakmravai. As this procedure shows, the main issue in the three studied cities is management and how to allocate and exploit resources. Meanwhile, the correlation between governance and sustainable development is 0.601. That is, if the governance situation improves by 1 unit, 0.601 units of sustainable development will increase. Also, the answer to the second question of the research, "How can a good urban governance model help the sustainable development of these cities?" Investigations with the approach of analyzing balanced mutual effects showed that the most important strategy for good urban governance and achieving sustainable development includes strategic insight based on planning with an impact factor of +13; Compliance with the principles of responding and following up on citizens' demands with an impact factor of +3; Supporting and strengthening local institutions in the form of citizen participation with an impact factor of 3+; And responsibility is in the form of compensating for past mistakes in decision making and implementation of programs and projects by managers. In this way, good urban governance and sustainable development, in achieving the desired standards, in the three studied cities, requires accurate and future-oriented planning. In addition to improving the current situation, it also anticipates the future needs of citizens.


The research results showed that the state of good urban governance in the studied cities is not favorable. Therefore, the indicators of sustainable urban development also need more attention. As a result, preventing the scattered growth of Babolsar, Noor, and Ramsar cities in the form of laws related to the scope of the approved master plan, transfer of polluting and incompatible uses with urban function and environmental capacities outside the urban area; participation of all urban actors (government-citizens-private sector) in urban affairs; and it is necessary to pay attention to the environmental issues of the city, especially environmental health.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 07 January 2024
  • Receive Date: 17 October 2023
  • Revise Date: 07 January 2024
  • Accept Date: 07 January 2024