Regional Development or Regional Policies? A Review of 60 Years of Regional Planning and Development in Pre and Post Islamic Revolution Iran


  • Musa Pajoohan Tehran University



Regional planning and development, barriers and obstacles, national planning system, Iran.


Since the emergence of planning thought 90 years ago, planning and development in Iran has always been a subject of active debate. Despite this long history, the centralized planning system has never been able to promote development that is consistent with the advantages and disadvantages of the regions, hence the evident imbalance in regional development of the country. This article aims to investigate the obstacles to regional development in Iran before and after the 1979 revolution, using a descriptive-analytic methodology. The results show that the main obstacle in regional development in the country lies in its centralized management and planning system, having led to serious barriers such as a sectoral approach in regional planning and management system, lack of a legal status for regional development, dependence on oil revenues, and lack of data and information resources.

Abstrak. Sejak kemunculan pemikiran perencanaan 90 tahun yang lalu, perencanaan dan pembangunan di Iran selalu menjadi subjek perdebatan yang aktif. Terlepas dari sejarah yang panjang ini, sistem perencanaan yang sentralistik tidak pernah mampu mempromosikan pembangunan yang konsisten dengan kekuatan dan kelemahan wilayah tersebut, dan juga pengembangan wilayah yang timpang di negara tersebut. Artikel ini bertujuan untuk menyelidiki hambatan dalam pengembangan wilayah di Iran sebelum dan sesudah revolusi 1979, menggunakan metodologi deskriptif-analitik. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa hambatan utama dalam pengembangan wilayah di negara ini terletak pada sistem manajemen dan perencanaan yang terpusat, yang menyebabkan hambatan serius seperti pendekatan sektoral dalam perencanaan wilayah dan sistem manajemen, kurangnya dasar hukum untuk pengembangan wilayah, ketergantungan pada pendapatan minyak, dan kurangnya sumber daya data dan informasi.

Kata Kunci. Perencanaan dan pengembangan wilayah, hambatan dan rintangan, sistem perencanaan nasional, Iran.


Alami, M.A. (1999) Regional Planning in Iran: East Development Plan Experience. Center for Iranian Economic Research: Tehran.

Almandoz, A. (2010) From Urban to Regional Planning in Latin America, 1920-50. Planning Perspectives 25(1), 87-95. DOI: 10.1080/02665430903515840.

Almandoz, A. (2016) Towards Braslia and Ciudad Guayana. Development, Urbanization and Regional Planning in Latin America, 1940s-1960s. Planning Perspectives 31(1), 31-53. DOI: 10.1080/02665433.2015.1006664.

Amirahmadi, H. (1986) Regional Planning in Iran: A Survey of Problems and Policies. Journal of Developing Areas 20(4), 501-530. Published by College of Business, Tennessee State University.

Bauer, R., A. Steiner, Z. Zaborska, and M. Schavalb (2007) Good Governance on the Regional Level in the Area of Regional Development in Slovakia. Technical University of Koaice, Faculty of Economics. 2nd Central European Conference in Regional Science - CERS.

Beheshti, M. (1999) The Impact of Past Plans Evaluation in Future Plans in Iran. Center for Iranian Economic Research, Plan & Budget Organization: Tehran.

Chamran, H. (1999) Evolution Trend of Plan & Budget Organization Structure. Center for Iran Economic Research: Tehran.

Clark, D. (2003) Urban World/Global City. Taylor & Francis, 2nd Edition: 9.

Clark, D. (1981) Urban Planning in Iran: Change and Development in the Middle East. British Library.

Dupont, V. (2007) Do Geographical Agglomeration, Growth and Equity Conflict? Regional Science 86(2), 193-213.

Ebtehaj, H. (1991) Khaterat. Elmi Publications, First Print: Tehran.

Elinbaum, P. (2018) Argentina, Disp. The Planning Review 54(1), 25-27. DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2018.1454668.

Elshahawany, D.N., E.A. Haddad, and M.L. Lahr (2017) Accessibility, Transportation Cost, and Regional Growth: A Case Study for Egypt. Middle East Development Journal. DOI: 10.1080/17938120.2017.1366773.

Fadaee, S. (2001) Global Expansion of Capitalism, Inequality and Social Movements: The Iranian Case. Globalization and Inequality in Emerging Societies, 118-135: Springer.

Farmanesh, A. (2009) Regional Dimensions of Economic Development in Iran - A New Economic Geography Approach. SSRN Electronic Journal. DOI: 10.2139/Ssrn.1336369.

Farret, R. (2001) Urban and Regional Planning in Brazil, Disp. The Planning Review 37(147), 8-13. DOI: 10.1080/02513625.2001.10556782.

Firouzfar, G. (2012) Central-Regional Budget Allocation Process in Iran: A Critical Analysis. Phd Thesis. The University of Westminster.

Fouladi, M.H. (1996) Promoting Innovation and Reform in National-Regional Planning: The Case of Iran 1983-1993. Phd Thesis. University of College London.

Friedmann, J. (1972) General Theory of Polarized Development. In: Growth Centers in Regional Economic Development, Ed. N.M. Hansen (Ed.), 82-107. London: Macmillan.

Galland, D. (2012) Is Regional Planning Dead or just Coping? The Transformation of A State Socio-Spatial Project Into Growth-Oriented Strategies. Journal of Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 30, 536-552.

Ghaderi, M.R., M. Taghvaei, and S. Shafaghi (2017) An Analysis of Management of Regional Development in Iran. Faculty of Business Economics and Entrepreneurship International Review 1-2.

Glasson, J. and T. Marshal (2007) Regional Planning. Routledge: London.

Gualini, E. (2006) The Rescaling of Governance in Europe: New Spatial and Institutional Rationales. Journal of European Planning Studies 14(7).

Habibi, M. (1999) Speech in Open-Section. Center for Iranian Economic Research: Tehran.

Hajyousefi, A. (1999) Regional Planning in Iran. Center for Iranian Economic Research: Tehran.

Hosseinzadehehdalir, K. (2001) Barnameh Riziyeh Nahiyeai [Regional Planning]. Samt Publications: Tehran.

Iranian Center for Architecture and Urban Development Research (1990) Introduction Text. Papers Collection on Physical Planning Conference, Esfahan.

Iranian Center for Architecture and Urban Development Research (2001) Development and Regional Balance. Paper Collection on Physical Planning Conference, Esfahan.

Jelili M.O., A.A. Adedibu, and L. Egunjobi (2008) Regional Development Planning In Nigeria: The General and Particular. Journal of Social Sciences 16(2), 135-140. DOI: 10.1080/09718923.2008.11892610.

Julfikar, M.A. and M. Rahaman (2018) Planning Decentralization and Changing Paradigm of Indian Planning Process. International Planning Studies. DOI: 10.1080/13563475.2018.1439371.

Kilic, S.E. (2009) Proposals for Regional Administrative Structure and Planning in Turkey. European Planning Studies 17(9), 1283-1301. DOI: 10.1080/09654310903053430.

Korah, P.I., P.B. Cobbinah, and A.M. Nunbogu(2017) Spatial Planning in Ghana: Exploring the Contradictions. Planning Practice & Research. DOI: 10.1080/02697459.2017.1378977.

Lalehpour, M. (2016) Recognition of Management Structure and Spatial Planning in Tehran Metropolitan Area. Journal of Urban Management, 53-15.

Lu, C., Y. Wu, Q. Shen, and H. Wang (2013) Driving Force of Urban Growth and Regional Planning: A Case Study of China's Guangdong Province. Habitat International 40, 35-41.

Mimiran, H. (1991) Comprehensive Plan of Esfahan Regional and Its Impact in Structure of Region. Papers Collection on Physical Planning Conference, Esfahan.

Najafi, A. (1998) Speech in Open-Section. Center for Iranian Economic Research: Tehran.

Navabpur, H.R. (1998) Planning System and Statistical System in Iran. Center for Iranian Economic Research: Tehran.

-AYd1/4l, G.H. (2010) Urban and Rural Definitions in Regional Context: A Case Study on Turkey. European Planning Studies 18(9), 1519-1541.

Pesaran, H. (1982) The System of Dependent Capitalism in Pre- and Post- Revolutionary Iran. International Journal of Middle East Studies 14, 501-522.

Plan & Budget Organization (1983a) Barnameh-E Panjsaleh-E Avval [The Firs Five-Year Plan]. Plan and Budget Organization: Tehran

Plan & Budget Organization (1982) The First Socio-Economic Development Plan Law. First Volume, Tehran.

Plan & Budget Organization (1995) The Second Socio-Economic Development Plan Law. First Volume, Tehran.

Plan and Budget Organization (1983b) Nokhostin Majmoeyeh Tarikh-E Barnamehrizi Dar Iran [The First Collection of the History of Planning in Iran]. Tehran.

Planning and Management Organization (2000) Third Development Plan. Tehran.

Rakodi, C. (2001) Forget Planning, Put Politics First? Priorities for Urban Management in Developing Countries. International Journal of Applied Earth Observations and Geoinformation 3(3), 209-223.

Richardson, H.W. (1975) Regional Planning in Iran, Growth and Change: A Journal of Regional Development 6 July 1975, 15-19: R. Olivier.

Sadeghi, T.A. (1999) Planning and Development Thought in Iran. Center for Iranian Economic Research: Tehran.

Sarrafi, M. (1998) Regional Development Planning Foundations in Iran. Plan & Budget Organization Publications: Tehran.

Selim, G. (2015) Between Order and Modernity: Resurgence Planning in Revolutionary Egypt. Journal of Urban History 42(1), 180-200.

Sezgin, E. (2018) New Regionalism in Turkey: Questioning The "New' and The "Regional'. European Planning Studies 26(4), 653-669. DOI: 10.1080/09654313.2017.1403571.

Shakoori, A. (2006) Planning and Agricultural Development in Iran. Journal of Critical Middle Eastern Studies 15(3), 265-282.

Shakoori, A. (2016) Regionalism Versus Centralism: An Analysis of Failure of Regional Planning in Iran. Journal of Soc. Econ. Dev. Institute for Social and Economic Change.

Sheykhi, M. (2001) Regional Planning in Iran (Trends and Challenges). Urban Management Quarterly 6, 18-30.

Soja, E.W. (2009) Regional Planning and Development Theories. International Encyclopedia of Human Geography 8, 259-270.

Tofigh, F. (2006) Planning in Iran and its Future Perspective. Education and Research in Planning and Management Institute: Tehran.

Vahidi, M. (1990) Regional Planning Trend in Iran and its Law Situation. Papers Collection on Physical Planning Conference, Esfahan.

Wong, C. (2015) Regional Planning: China. International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Edition Vol. 20.

Ziafati Bafarasat, A. (2016) Exploring New Systems of Regionalism: An English Case Study. Journal of Cities 50, 119-128.






Research Articles