2020 Volume 9 Issue 1

Evaluating the Sustainability of the Spatial Planning Documents in Iran from the Perspective of Green Economy Approach

Razieh Molla Mirzaei, Sahar Nedaei Tousi, Maryam Samadian

The ineffectiveness of the unidirectional approaches during recent decades has caused the world to encounter numerous challenges in sustainability and persistence grounds. Now that decades have elapsed since the sustainable development concept was first introduced, there are numerous operational and assessorial instruments within the format of methods of sustainability evaluation for tracking and reporting the performance of the developmental policies and plans. In line with the operationalization of this concept and codification of a framework for assessing and measuring the amount of economy’s progress parallel to the sustainable development goals, the green economy notion was transformed into one of the primary courses of development and economy discourse. The green economy is defined as an equivalent for an environment-friendly, low-carbon, and low-emission economy that respects the ecological frameworks and capacities and supports the peaceful human-nature symbiosis. Based thereupon, the present study has been dedicated to the subjective evaluation of the spatial planning documents’ sustainability status in Iran, including the “national criteria for spatial planning, passed in 2004” and “national guidelines and orientations of spatial planning, passed in 2017” from the perspective of “green economy” approach. In the end, as well, planning solutions’ suggestion has been placed atop of the agenda for the actualization of green economy approaches in Iran’s provincial regions. The study’s main question has been organized about the subject that how much have planning efforts been able to take steps in line with the actualization of the sustainability goals from the perspective of the green economy approach. In this regard and within the format of the macro-level methodology “the framework of sustainability status evaluation” and “benchmarking through the composite index (CI)”, several steps have been taken with two primary intentions of the comparative evaluation of Iran’ provincial regions status and evaluation of the amount to which the green economy concerns have been taken into account in the spatial planning documents based on the provincial differences and good results have been attained. After codifying the green economy measurement model through subjective studies based on the meta-synthesis method and status assessment, it was made clear that Iran’s provincial regions are not generally in an optimal status in terms of this index. The results of the spatial planning documents’ subjective evaluation, as well, indicate that spatial planning guidelines have performed weakly in grounds of inclusive and welfare economy in terms of wealth distribution but the green economy goals have been met to an acceptable amount concerning instruction and health. Concerning the efficient and low-carbon economy, particular emphasis has been made in these documents on the innovation and use of modern global ideas and plans and the emphasis on economic growth and income is still on an industry like before. The main weakness of these documents is in their ineffectiveness in terms of resources’ productivity, less attention to the reduction of pollutants and greenhouse gases’ emission, and inability in responding to the climatic and ecological problems and crises.