An Analysis of Meso level Policy Making Environment in Tehran’s Strategic-Structural (Comprehensive) Plan (1997-2011)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Student in Public Administration, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.


The prosperity and success of cities are a result of complicated process of policy making in distinct periods. Urban policy making is considered as a collection of decisions for implementation of strategies and achieving urban development goals at micro level and in planning process. In this paper, however, we focus on meso level of policy making which has shaped the mechanism of Tehran’s Strategic-Structural (Comprehensive) Plan preparation. At this level of analysis also referred to as institutional level, actors who influence policies and shape policy agendas are at the center stage. Here, we focus on environmental analysis of meso level of policy making in Tehran strategic-structural (comprehensive) plan (1999-2011). We use descriptive-analytical methods to review the published material and documents. A series of semi-structure interviews with 22 experts in several urban management institutions were conducted in order to complete the data needed for analysis. The results of this paper show that the environment of meso level policy making in Tehran’s strategic-structural (comprehensive) plan shifted from shared understanding of urban issues among the major institutions in late 1370s (SH) to a negative aura of  unclear and destructive competitions which undermined the public interests in late 1380s (SH). Several procedural factors can be sited for this shift. One is the imbalanced power distribution among those involved in the in institution which was formed to prepare the plan. This institution is refereed to here as "the Management and Planning Organization of Tehran’s development plans" (MPOTDP). In general, there were three main goals to establish this institution, at first, approaching government activities to local public interest, second, approaching planning system (preparation of urban development plans) to implementation system (implementation of urban development plans) and finally, approaching government, Tehran city council and municipality of Tehran (in fact, approaching planning and implementation). Other factors for shifting from shared understanding of urban issues to negative aura included: the imposing bureaucratic nature of urban management in Iran, multitude interpretations of Tehran’s Strategic-Structural (Comprehensive) Plan and particularly the detailed plans, the negative competition between Tehran’s municipality and the central government and process of attenuating and ultimately dissolving the above-mentioned institution. In the period between 1376-1390 (SH) when the MPOTDP was not yet formed and then between 1386-1390 (SH) when the institution was dissolved, urban policies were shown to be  inefficient, segmented and partial. Thus the meso level policy making environment in Tehran’s plan was inevitably imbalanced, impermanent and uncoordinated. Consequently, this has created several challenges for future. In such an environment, the institutions, groups and individuals involved in Tehran’s urban management peruse their own agendas and interests without considering the interests of the City as a whole. The experts who were interviewed all commonly suggest that certain equilibrium-reaching mechanisms need to be formulated for the urban management bodies by means of bringing together the major actors in all sorts of governmental, public, private, NGO institutions for all levels of policy making process from agenda setting to evaluation of policy implementation.            


اقوامی مقدم، عارف (1387)، یادداشت مترجم در کتاب «سیاست­های شهری»، انتشارات آذرخش، تهران.
برک‏پور، ناصر و اسدی، ایرج (1390)، «مدیریت و حکمروایی شهری»، انتشارات دانشگاه هنر، معاونت پژوهشی، تهران.
عندلیب، علیرضا (1388)، «نهاد برنامه‌ریزی و توسعه شهری تهران (گذشته، حال، آینده)»، نشریه منظر، شماره اول، مرکز پژوهشی هنر، معماری و شهرسازی نظر، صص 25-33.
کاظمیان، غلامرضا، صالحی، اسماعیل، ایازی، سید محمدهادی، نوذرپور، علی، جاجرمی، حسین، سعیدی، نوید و مجید عبدالهی (1392)، مدیریت شهری؛ جلد اول: مبانی و حوزه­ها، انتشارات تیسا، اداره کل مطالعات اجتماعی و فرهنگی شهرداری تهران.
کاظمیان، غلامرضا (1391)، جزوه کلاسی درس روش­ها و تکنیک­های مدیریت شهری، دانشکده شهرسازی، پردیس هنرهای زیبا، دانشگاه تهران.
کاکرین، آلن (1387)، سیاست­های شهری، عارف اقوامی مقدم، انتشارات آذرخش، تهران.
معاونت برنامه‌ریزی و توسعه شهری شهرداری تهران (1390)، نظام‌نامه تدوین برنامه عملیاتی شهرداری تهران 1390-1392، معاونت برنامه‌ریزی و توسعه شهری، مدیریت سیاست‌گذاری و برنامه‌ریزی راهبردی شهرداری تهران، تهران. 
وحید، مجید (1387)، تهران در آیینه سیاست‌گذاری شهری، فصلنامه سیاست، مجله دانشکده حقوق و علوم سیاسی، شماره 4، صص 297- 279.
هاولت، مایکل، رامش، ام (1380)، مطالعه خط­مشی عمومی، عباس منوریان، ابراهیم گلشن، سازمان مدیریت و برنامه­ریزی کشور، انتشارات مرکز آموزش مدیریت دولتی، تهران.
Blackman, Tim (1995), Urban Policy in Practice, Routledge press, London and New York.
Eisinger, Peter K (1977), Understanding Urban Politics: A Comparative Perspective on Urban Political Conflict, Polity, Vol.10, No.2, pp. 218-240.
Ferlie, Ewan & Ongaro, Edoardo (2015), Strategic Management in Public Services Organizations, Routledge Press, London, UK.        
Judge, David; Stoker, Gerry & Wolman, Harold (1995), Theories of Urban Politics, Sage publications, Thousand Oaks, California, USA.
Strauss, Anselm C & Corbin, Juliet (1998), Basics of Qualitative Research Techniques and Procedures for Developing Grounded Theory, Sage Publication, Thousand Oaks, California, USA.
Ward, Kevin & Imbroscio, David (2011), Urban Politics: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue, International Journal of Urban and regional research, Vol. 35.4, pp. 853-871.