Lead Organization: An Appropriate Model of integrated urban management in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 University of Mazandaran

2 Professor, Urban Planning Department, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Art, Tehran, Iran.


In our country, during the last few decades, proposals have been made to improve the system of urban management in order to overcome fragmentation and achieve integrated management, but none of them have been implemented. Despite various debates, especially by politicians and executives, which have been done by using the terms such as coordinated urban management, integrated urban management and monistic urban management, clarity of them and organizational structures necessary for their realization are not provided. The main subject and purpose of this article is to examine the structures of coordination and inter-organizational integration and to evaluate the overall appropriate structures for achieving integration in the country's urban management. This evaluation has been done by designing the features of several structures and explaining the appropriateness of each of them with the existing context of Iran’s urban management. In this article, and with a deductive method, it is claimed that the structure or model of the “lead organization” is suitable for the transition to integrated urban management in the country. It seems that the structure of coordination among the organizations, which is called the “Lead Organization”, is most in line with the political and administrative structure of the country's urban management system. In this structure, the council and the municipality take the leadership and directing all the responsible institutions and organizations in the management of cities. The results of this study show that the municipality (council and city manager) in Iran, for various reasons such as being multi-functional, placed-based, democratic and elective institution, more than other public and governmental institutions have the most competence to assume the role of the lead organization in resources and organizations coordination of the city. It is possible and practical to undertake such a mission to achieve greater coordination in the management of cities, even without transferring more tasks to them, which has always faced resistance from public service organizations. Several arguments were put forward to justify the lead organization as a proper and preferred model of coordination and integration, the most important of which is the ability to implement it with less organizational change and at the same time more effectiveness than other studied models. This proposal can be justified by relying on the intrinsic values ​​of local governments on the one hand and their functional advantages, in comparison with other institutions and actors influential in urban management, on the other hand. Values ​​such as democracy and public participation, efficiency and local autonomy, which can be achieved by empowering municipalities as the main institution of urban management, and other functional advantages that balance the leadership of the urban management system, in competition with other existing institutions, in favor of municipalities. These advantages are multi-functionality of municipalities, their place-baseness, responsibility of municipalities along with the state institution in providing public goods and perceptions and public opinion, which holds the municipality responsible for improving the quality of urban life and achieving important cross-cutting goals.                


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