A Comparative Analysis of Site Selection Methods for New Towns in Iran (from 1980 until 2000)

Document Type : Research Article



More than 25 sites were selected for construction of new towns in Iran between 1980 and 2000. Nevertheless it seems that a comprehensive assessment has not been performed on the new towns construction policy. The purpose of this study is to analyze the site selection methods for new towns in the recent three decades. The main question of this research is the conformity measure of the used methods in site selection of new towns in Iran with common scientific methods of site selection. In some cases, quality assessments (not relying on scientific methods) lead to involvement of personal taste and policies in site selection. The scientific and analytical process of site selection is not obvious in most of these studies and it seems that site selection is justified for pre-selected sites. For this purpose, a comparison was made between the different known decision-making methods in the site selection field with the methods used in site selection of new Iranian towns. The comparison includes the manner of determining appropriate sites ,selection criteria, weighting the criteria and the manner of determining the final score of each option. Eight towns in Iran including Sahand, Golbahar, Binalood New-Towns (in 1360’s) Bakhtaran, Hasanlou, Eyvanaki New-Towns (in 1370’s) Kelardasht and Parnian New-Town (in 1380’s) were studied. The paper attempts to build a conceptual model of site-selection process based on the related used methods in Multi-Criteria Decision Making area. In this model, the central points and main steps are defined then the site-selection processes are readjusted by these steps and final results are concluded. The results indicate a relatively simplistic outlook in site selection of new towns in a way that the methods used did not have much conformity with common scientific methods of site selection. Although tendency towards application of scientific methods of site selection has increased since 1980, the achievement of urban development in this field, which is one of the complicated spatial decision making processes, is not significant. It seems that managerial and political factors have obvious roles in site selection for new towns.