BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The importance of integrated urban management has become increasingly evident in today's world, particularly for large cities facing physical, spatial, and demographic growth and complexity. In Iran, the lack of effective citizen participation and integrated management has posed a significant challenge to the urban management system. To address this issue, this research focuses on the role of citizens and urban activists in various levels of Tehran metropolis management, including policy making, planning, supervision, and control. It also evaluates the legislative and executive layers to emphasize their importance in achieving effective urban management.
METHODS: The present study adopts a qualitative research design, with a practical orientation in terms of its objectives, and an analytical-exploratory approach for data collection. The study focuses on experts and city managers as the statistical population of interest. To gather data, a questionnaire was developed and distributed among the target community. The reliability of the questionnaire was assessed using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, which yielded a high value of 0.97. Data analysis involved the use of descriptive statistics, including frequency, frequency percentage, mean, and standard deviation, as well as inferential statistics, specifically the one-sample t-test. The statistical analysis was conducted using the SPSS software package.
FINDINGS: According to the findings, 31.4% of the responses identified the citizens and 25.7% of the responses identified the municipality as the owner of the city. 68.6% of the answers have identified the municipality as the manager of Tehran city. Also, 80% of the respondents said that management fragmentation is the biggest challenge of urban development in Iran. The most influential institutions in the process of urban management are Tehran Municipality at the policy-making level, self-governing experts and researchers at the planning level, the Tehran Islamic Council at the monitoring and control level, the Islamic Council at the legislative level and Tehran Municipality at the executive level, while the citizens are the last.
CONCLUSION: The present urban management approach faces significant obstacles in the form of fragmentation and inadequate coordination among decision-making entities. These challenges result in disarray, duplication of efforts, and squandering of resources. Consequently, the absence of transparency and lucidity in the roles of city proprietors and managers, coupled with the lack of precise delineations for the engagement of organizations, individuals, and institutions in the urban management process, could impede the attainment of sustainable development objectives and curtail the capacity of civil society to comprehend and partake in effective urban governance.
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