Urban Planning with the Aid of Factor Analysis Approach: The Case of Isfahan Municipality

By Nosoohi, Iman; Zeinal-Hamadani, Ali | Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, February 2011 | Go to article overview

Urban Planning with the Aid of Factor Analysis Approach: The Case of Isfahan Municipality


Nosoohi, Iman, Zeinal-Hamadani, Ali, Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management


1. INTRODUCTION

Nowadays, along with the extension of cities and population growth in cities, urban planning has become more important than ever. Following population growth in cities, regional municipalities have to provide required services to each district under their boundary. Usually different data under the territory of each regional municipality, such as number of sport centers, number of parks and entertainment centers, number of library and cultural centers, number of parking spaces, etc are available. To analyze such information of different regions, regarding multivariate nature of data, it is appropriate to use statistical multivariate techniques such as Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Factor Analysis (FA), Cluster Analysis (CA), etc. PCA is a statistical technique that linearly transforms an original set of variables into a substantially smaller set of uncorrelated new variables that represent most of the information of the original data set (Lewis-Beck, 1994). Through this technique is obtained a small set of uncorrelated variables, which is much easier to understand and use in further analysis than a larger set of correlated variables (Lewis-Beck, 1994). FA is based on the fundamental assumption that some underlying factors, fewer than the number of observed variables, are responsible for the covariation of the observed variables (Lewis-Beck, 1994). Cluster analysis is a technique for grouping variables or observations based on their similarities and dissimilarities (Johnson and Wichern, 2007). Through applying these techniques on urbanistic multivariate data, effective policies for promotion of urbanism situations will appear.

In this research, applying realistic data from the city of Isfahan in Iran, it is shown how with the aid of factor analysis technique we can analyze information of regional municipalities. Through this kind of analysis regional municipalities can improve living situation at each region. The previous studies, related to our research can be divided into two main fields: Urban and municipality planning and application of statistical multivariate techniques in urban planning. Our research connects these two subjects applying a realistic case study. The related studies are reviewed briefly, at the rest of this part.

1.1. Researches on Urban and Municipality Planning

Alvarez et al. (2007) proposed a general index for ranking municipalities of the city Badajoz in Spain, with the use of Rasch model as a measurement instrument. They determined the ranking of the municipalities according to their infrastructure needs and, moreover, a ranking of the frequent needs for all municipalities. Johansson et al. (2006), studied the management of risk in conjunction with municipality planning of the physical environments in Sweden. Their aim was to present a descriptive review of what risks regarding health, safety and security that are considered in a set of municipal comprehensive master plan documents prepared and adopted by Swedish municipalities. Niedomysl (2007), examines the campaign efforts of the Swedish rural municipalities and addresses the question of whether they have been successful. Rezessy et al., 2006, performed a research with the aim of reviewing the factors that determine the degree of involvement of local authorities in the market for energy services and energy efficient equipment in three countries in transition: Bulgaria, Hungary and Macedonia. They give recommendations on how to encourage municipal authorities to use market mechanisms more extensively to deliver energy efficiency.

Also, there are several researches in the literature for different subjects of urban planning such as transportation and traffic issues (Abrate et al. 2009; Ubbels and Verhoef, 2008; Boyce, 2007), urban growth and land development (Sims and Schuetz, 2009; Wang et al. 2009; Wu,2009; Xu et al. 2009; Jenkins, 2001; Yeh and Wu, 1996), air pollution (Alberini and Chiabai, 2007; Proost and Dender, 2001), etc. …

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