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For this fiscal year that started in March, a budget of $27.5 million is allocated for upgrading informal settlements in Mashhad and $10.2 million each for the cities of Qom and Shiraz.
For this fiscal year that started in March, a budget of $27.5 million is allocated for upgrading informal settlements in Mashhad and $10.2 million each for the cities of Qom and Shiraz.

Challenges of Informal Settlements

Challenges of Informal Settlements

Currently, 11 million people live in 2,800 informal settlements spread across  77,000 hectares in 91 cities, the Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said Tuesday.
As per the fourth (2006-2011) and fifth (2011-2016) economic development plans, the number of informal settlements should have been reduced by 10% each year. “If we had succeeded in reaching the goal, it would have been a big step towards the process of eradicating unofficial settlements; however, so far only 13% of the goal has been reached,” the Persian language newspaper ‘Iran’ quoted him as saying.  
He pointed to the “imbalances” in the province-wise budgetary allocations and said about 53% of the total budget is for Tehran Province with a population of 12.18 million, while the figure is 8% and less than 1% for the two provinces of Isfahan (4.87 million population) and Sistan-Baluchestan (2.5 million), respectively.”
This has encouraged rural-urban migration, and the problem of outlying areas cannot be resolved so long as funding is not made available “wisely.”

  Upgrading of Informal Settlements
Last week deputy minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Saeed Izadi had pointed out that informal settlements exist in 91 cities. The next five-year economic development plan (2016-2021) calls for upgrading and empowerment of 270 informal settlements. The plan is still under review in the Majlis.
While it is generally believed that informal settlements are mostly in the outlying areas, according to a recent survey of the 91 cities, 87% of the shanties were located within cities and over 80% of the informal settlements were more than 20 years old.
On the plans to upgrade shanty towns, he said the quality of urban services in the areas should be improved by providing better housing and health facilities and increasing educational and green spaces.
“But we also have to keep in mind that only the minimum standards of urban services should be provided to the people living in informal settlements so as not to encourage others to move in those areas,” he said. “We definitely don’t want to encourage more people to live in unofficial settlements.”

  Provincial Allocations
For this fiscal year that started in March, a budget of $27.5 million is allocated for upgrading informal settlements in Mashhad and $10.2 million each for the cities of Qom and Shiraz.
Additionally, $51.4 million has been allocated for upgrading five neighborhoods in Nahavand County in Hamedan Province including Paye Ghale, Do Khaharan, Posht-e-Shahrdari, Khaqani, and Hafez.
More than 70% of the population in Tehran, 68% in Isfahan, 69% in Mashhad, 56% in Shiraz, and 67% in Ahvaz is in excess of what is deemed “the optimum size,” i.e. the capacity that can provide citizens with favorable living standards. The population of the five cities is estimated at 8 million, 1.7 million, 2.6 million, 1.4 million and 1 million respectively.
Informal settlements are heavily populated urban areas characterized by substandard housing, inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, and a constantly changing population.
Statistics show that in 1956, the rural population comprised 70% of the total population of 19 million, while in 2015 the rural population was hardly 28% of the total population of 80 million.

 

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