عنوان مقاله [English]
In the past decades, the concept of sustainability has increasingly garnered public attention by highlighting the challenging balance between the needs of the global population and the environmental burdens these needs impose. Urban sustainability is characterized as developing a constructed environment that seeks to meet people’s basic needs while avoiding socially or environmentally unacceptable impacts. Nowadays, assessing the sustainability status of cities and their transition towards sustainability has become one of the most important principles of urban planning. However, due to the dynamic and multifaceted nature of sustainability and the distinctive characteristics of each urban typology, the manifestation of sustainability in each city can vary. The indicators influencing sustainability and driving cities towards becoming sustainable may differ across cities. Therefore, this research aims to explicate the influential factors on sustainability and analyze them in the small and medium-sized cities of Qazvin province.
Materials and Methods
The research method employed in this study is applied and is based on quantitative methods. To analyze the data and achieve the research objectives, after extracting the urban sustainability indicators and preparing the questionnaire, the urban sustainability indicators extracted from theoretical foundations in the PLS software are identified or validated through second-order confirmatory factor analysis modeling for each of the medium-sized and small cities. Subsequently, the factors influencing urban sustainability indicators in each of the medium-sized and small cities are determined and analyzed. The examination of urban sustainability concerning the size and population of the city, especially in small and medium-sized cities, has not received much attention from researchers in this field and remains relatively unexplored, making this a significant innovation in this research in the realm of sustainability. The sampling in this study utilizes simple random sampling, where all members are equally likely to be selected. The Cochran formula, a common formula for estimating sample size in urban and social studies, is used to estimate the sample size for each of the study samples.
Research findings indicate that, based on data analysis, in the city of Qazvin, the housing-transport factor and the social-cultural factor have the greatest impact on the sustainability and movement of the city towards sustainability. In contrast, the environmental factor has the least impact. In recent years, unprecedented economic developments in the housing sector have affected all aspects of this area. The increase in housing prices and the difficulty of obtaining them for citizens, the reduction in housing dimensions, and the use of non-sustainable materials and plans have all contributed to housing becoming one of the most important issues in defining sustainability in mid-sized cities. On the other hand, the dominance of motorized and unsustainable transportation in the urban development process has caused numerous problems for cities, and Qazvin is no exception, as sustainable and clean transportation infrastructure and facilities have not been provided in this city. On the other hand, in Ziaabad as a small city, the factor of facilities and infrastructure has the greatest impact on the state of sustainability. Conversely, the economic and managerial factors, as well as the environmental factors, do not have a significant relationship with the sustainability of small cities. Nowadays, in many small cities, due to various managerial and organizational factors, facilities and infrastructure do not have a desirable state, leading to numerous problems and difficulties for the citizens of these cities. Ziaabad is also not exempt from this situation. Considering the importance of facilities, infrastructure, and its sub-indices such as green spaces in the concept of sustainability, and the undesirable state of this index in small cities like Ziaabad, it can be stated that the realm of urban facilities and infrastructure is of great importance in moving small cities towards sustainability.
The results of data analysis regarding the indices influencing sustainability indicate that in medium-sized cities, housing, transportation, and social-cultural factors have the greatest impact on defining and achieving sustainability. Within these factors, indices of land and housing supply costs, as well as recreational opportunities, play the most prominent role in influencing these factors and therefore the sustainability of cities. Therefore, for medium-sized cities to move towards sustainability, urban planners should pay greater attention to the housing, transportation, and social spheres. On the other hand, in small cities, factors such as amenities, infrastructure, and elderly care have the greatest impact and significance in defining the status of sustainability and achieving it. Within these factors, sub-indices of green spaces, access to services, and housing quality have the most significant internal impact on these factors and consequently on sustainability in small cities. Ultimately, it can be stated that in medium-sized cities, the housing and transportation sectors, and in small cities, the amenities and infrastructure sectors, play the most prominent role in the movement of cities towards sustainability and defining sustainability. Therefore, these sectors and their influential sub-indices can be considered by urban planners in the process of formulating urban plans and programs.