عنوان مقاله [English]
Since its formation, urban management in Iran, which has been backed for more than a hundred years, has always faced fluctuations both in its concept and position. Moreover, the ambiguity in its structure and the way of communication with its internal and external environment has always been a problem for the urban management system of the country. Therefore, a large body of today’s urban management problems, including its inefficiency and low effectiveness, are caused by these historical fluctuations. Meanwhile, one of the important foundations of the urban management system, the city Islamic councils, is one of the best hopes for creating citizen participation capacities in the urban management system and strengthening local self-governance. This basic principle of urban management has played an important role in the transition from non-participatory and authoritarian urban management to good urban governance and has appropriate legal capacities to make the urban management system transparent, accountable, and reliable. However, although city councils have been added to Iran’s urban management system as an important principle and advisory and supervisory layer in the last 20 years, the result of their performance in terms of efficiency and effectiveness on the quality of the urban management system and its improvement has not been positive and significant. The main purpose of this study is the pathology of the organizations, duties, and elections of the country’s Islamic councils and the election of mayors’ law (approved in 1996 and its subsequent amendments).
Materials and Methods
The legal research approach has been deployed as the main methodology of the current article to identify the critical bottlenecks in this law, its inefficiencies, and inadequacies from the perspective of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Islamic city of Tehran (placement and duties). Moreover, using this semi-structural method (in-person interview) the role of the council in Tehran’s urban management system has been recognized and analyzed, and then required legal reforms and policy recommendations are proposed.
The results of the article show that, regarding the law, the majority of Tehran city councils’ authority is in the removal and installation of the mayor and supervision of municipal affairs, and the lowest area of its authority is in connection with the supervision and cooperation of urban branches of the central government who are service providers at the city level. As a result, one of the main reasons for the council’s low efficiency is the determination of the limits for the council’s supervisory powers to the extent of cooperation, which is done based on discretion and upon the request of government organizations. Also, the mechanism of legal treatment for the conditions of non-cooperation of government agencies with the council is not provided in the law. This drawback particularly in Tehran where all of the central government ministries and branches are established has exacerbated the inefficiency and inability of the city council for supervision and effectiveness for the whole city not only for the municipal affairs.
The results also indicate that there are three possible solutions for enhancing the role of the city council in Tehran’s urban management. These are 1) Amendment of the current law, 2) Developing a new law based on the local management independence, and 3) Amendment of the current law regarding the separation of Tehran city council as the capital council from another city council in the country and law amendment based on this separation. By examining the strengths and weaknesses of each of the possible options for amending the law, option 3 is the most likely solution with a higher ability to be realized in the current legal environment and legal structure of the country. Moreover, the general favor of urban management experts regarding the separation of Tehran’s problems as the capital of the country has increased the chance of solution number 3. Indeed, considering the vast amendments required to change the current law of councils to expand the decision-making powers and competencies of the council over the whole urban organizations, and not just the municipality, this ability and relative capacity exists in the current conditions in Tehran. Finally, supporting the main results of previous studies on the issue of drafting new laws for Tehran’s urban management system for separating and amending existing laws to strengthen the position of the local management in the national and regional management structure of the country indicates that the option number 3 is a shortcut for reaching the good result.