Evaluation of the Post-Revolutionary Urban Land Policy in Iran: Case Study Ahwaz City

Mowlazadeh, Mohammad Ali (1991) Evaluation of the Post-Revolutionary Urban Land Policy in Iran: Case Study Ahwaz City. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Urbanisation is a major problem in Iran today which seems likely to increase. Most national and urban governments are under pressure to accept the large and growing proportion of the urban poor and to help them find affordable shelter which meets their immediate needs. However, in many developing countries access to land, and in particular urban land, poses the greatest problem to the low-income settler in his attempts to obtain accommodation. Accessibility to land is restricted as the settler does not have enough money to participate effectively in the urban land market. As such, the availability of housing to the urban settler depends primarily upon the ease with which land is released by the land owners for development. Private urban land ownership and management has been underlined as a common impediment to availability of land for housing the urban poor. It is also a major man-made constraint on land availability in the market. Public policy approaches to residential land vary with the dominant political ideology of different societies. The Iranian government, after the revolution of 1979, made an attempt to solve the country's urban housing problem, by applying the Islamic principles of property ownership restricting the amount of urban land individuals can own, and distributing the excess land on the one hand, while providing access to loans and construction materials on the other. Using equity, efficiency and impact as criteria for measuring the success or failure of a given policy, the aim of the study is twofold: a) evaluation of the recent urban land policy in Iran in terms of accessibility to land by low-income groups and efficiency of land-use; and b) to evaluate the policy impact on housing and associated services, using Ahwaz city in Iran as a case study. The thesis postulates that the supposed potential of public urban land ownership and management are not necessarily achieved simply because land is owned or managed by the state. The degree of success depends essentially on what form the public ownership and management take, on the nature and character of the society involved, and on how public authority is exercised in the process of implementation. The thesis concludes that the theoretical controversy in which different systems of land ownership are set against each other, has become divorced from practical realities. Like other Third World countries' policies the policy in Iran tends to benefit the upper and middle income groups either deliberately or unintentionally. The Islamic ownership of land therefore, does not automatically imply an urban land policy that is more productive and just than any other system of land management. Factors such as administrative efficiency of the public agency involved, the amount of public money made available for housing the poor and the socio-economic condition of the targeted groups are fundamental to the realisation of the potential benefits of any land ownership system.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Urban planning, Land use planning, Public policy
Date of Award: 1991
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1991-78322
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2020 12:09
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/78322

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