BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Irregular and unplanned development of cities has led to some difficulties with the natural environment and human well-being reflected in the inappropriate spatial structure. Perception of physical-spatial pattern leads to the invention of appropriate policies to equitable distribution of services in urban areas and achievement of balanced development. This study aims to analyze the physical-spatial pattern of the Mashhad City from 1986 to 2016 conducted based on GIS data of the census blocks of Mashhad.
METHODS: The current study was performed using descriptive-analytical method. In order to achieve that, spatial statistics tools including Moran coefficient, hotspots and directional distribution (standard deviational ellipse) have been used on ArcGIS PRO 2.5 software as well as Holdren model. Population is one of the prominent variables affecting growth and physical-spatial development of the city, therefore, the population has been considered as an indicator in this research.
FINDINGS: The obtained values of the Moran Index (1986=0.13, 1996=0.14, 2006=0.15, and 2016=0.15) represented that the population pattern of the city was clustered, compact and continuous. Likewise, Hotspots revealed high population density in the continuous area from east to northwest in addition to the neighborhoods around the Vakil Abad highway. Standard deviational ellipse of the population illustrated that the population distribution was heading to the northwest. Applying Holdren model and data analysis showed that Mashhad experienced the horizontal and sprawl growth.
CONCLUSION: Obtaining balanced future development and avoiding unplanned encroachment of the city boundary are integral issues. As a result, the current and legal city limit must be maintained and inner development and compact pattern must be implemented.