Review and Assess the Role of Citizen Participation in Urban Sustainable tourism Tehran municipality zone 22 case study

Document Type : Research Article


1 - Faculty member of Research Center of Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and tourism Organization Research Center

2 MA of Tourism planning, University of Tehran, Iran.


The necessity of a complete grasp of participation concept is greatly important due to the following factors: First of all, it is one of the basic principles of democracy in the present world. Secondly, municipalities can make the way for the participation culture to grow in order to the democratic society ideals based on the available literature. Undoubtedly, reviewing the participation fundamental structure more closely and from different perspectives, prediction of future possibilities, makes the way toward clarifying connected values of participation. It is not possible to guarantee tourism development through direct economic and materialistic components as development asks for mobilization of local community resources including think-tank and laborers of different society groups.
There has been a general assumption about tourism planning through the time. It has been considered as a simple process of allocating incentives for construction of new hotels and guarantees their accessibility through public transport and in the meantime arranging tourism advertising campaigns. The only requirement for systematic planning was finding a suitable location for construction of hotels and entertainment centers. Constructing peculiar landscapes for their lodgings and designing engineering standards for development. This approach has been proved successful previous to mass tourism appearance. It was applicable to small resorts and lodging construction and run. Local community members’ participation and involvement is an issue of concern in sustainable tourism development as well as decision making process, because of this local community involvement is most welcomed in planning for most of projects and measures.Toward realizing this participation, identifying its special features is considered as an attempt of value to make the way for its realization.
Tehran Municipality zone22 is located between 51 5’ 10” to 51 20’ 40” of Eastern Longitude and 32 35’ 16” to 35 57’ 19” of Northern Latitude in Northern West of Tehran in the bottom of Kan River Catchment Area and Vardig. Growing number of population as well as vast and extensive economic changes and other similar changes have had considerable effects in physical appearance of Tehran.One of its consequences of these changes can be formation of Zone 22 in Tehran Municipality that is undoubtedly the biggest and vastest urban development has been joined to Tehran.
The focus groups of the visitors have been elected from Chitgar Park visitors and due to indefinite number of visitors William Cocrhran Sampling Technique. The population has been included Tehran Zone 22 dwellers and conducting the survey, the zone has been divided into nine different areas. The censuses reveal that the population of these neighborhoods is more than 100000 people. The numbers of interviewees have been determined corresponding to the population of each neighborhood.
In order to satisfy the aims of this research, the following objectives were identified: 1. to estimate the minimum current demand for 22 zone of Tehran attractions, 2- The residents' participation in tourist projects of 22 zone of Tehran, 3- Evaluation of the tendency of tourism to contribute to the project area by local people.The research method is a combination of field and library methods. The population is selected by using Cochran sample size formula. The sample includes 170 visitors and 150 people from local community members. This sampling is targeted and quota sampling. The average tourism attractiveness of the area is middle range and local members don’t play a role in related measures, although the residents are really interested and willing to participate and collaborate with municipality and have appositive view to tourism.Residents do not have a role in regional tourism development programs and even programs to encourage and tech it held for the presence of regional tourism there.It is axiomatic that development of the human-resource base cannot be achieved without establishing appropriate and enabling democratic institutions to facilitate participation at all levels of 22 zone.
In this survey each person is considered a unit and the questionnaires’ questions are selected through random selection and the survey theoretical foundations. To show the survey reliability and internal consistency as well as intra class correlation, Conrbach Alpha Coefficient has been applied on 50 questionnaires of host community as well as 50 questionnaires’ of visitors and the obtained results are as follows:

The area dwellers questionnaires include: citizens partnership 70%, trust in officials 73%, attitude to tourism 52% and the whole questionnaire 81%.
The area attractiveness in the visitors questionnaires 75%

Tourism attractiveness rate of zone 22 of Tehran is at the mid range. And the mid range seems to be reasonable but in sustainable tourism a great score is required that we are close to this level in public transportation system of the area. One of the most important issues is lack of requires facilities and infrastructures for disabled people in the area. According to Surbruke in disabled travel concept is a developing one and better facilities and higher quality amenities should be provided for physically disabled and mentally retarded people. It is a vital need to arrange more entertainment as well as pastime hobbies for these people. Toward this end, the main focus of tourism attractions should be on equipping themselves with modern facilities in order to be able to host greater number of people with incapacities.
One of the ways to improve the quality of attractions and tourism sustainability is to cooperate with local community members. Unfortunately these people have been ignored and play no role in almost all of the projects. The observations show that at present the citizens’ benefits are not considered in decision making process although most of them have positive attitudes toward tourism and its constructive roles and outcomes. These people can be of great impact to realize its goals. According to Mr. Doxy – as it was mentioned in theoretical framework of this survey-on the condition that local people impression toward tourism change in a way that it is perceived as a destructive factor with negative impact on their social life they would disagree with any sort of development in any form. To improve local community members active involvement and partnership in tourism related issues, making use of its benefits for the community and upgrading the attractiveness rate of the zone ten suggestions have been provided in n the last part of the survey.

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