Endurance, Compliance, Victory: Learning from Informal Settlements in Five Iranian Cities

  • Mahyar ArefiEmail author
  • Neda Mohsenian-Rad


This chapter gleans some lessons from the World Bank’s enablement initiative that took place in Iran from 2004 to 2009. An $80 million loan from the World Bank targeted these settlements in Bandar Abbas, Zahedan, Kermanshah, Sanandaj, and Tabriz. Adaptation, formalization, and integration emerged as the three components of this upgrading process based on data collection and analysis from mainly secondary sources of information on this initiative. The chapter then delves deeper into these themes and distinguishes them from the mainstream planning process that starts from the conception of an idea, followed by the planning phase, and finally implementation. Service delivery, governance, and leadership constitute the three key components of adaptation which captures people’s coping mechanisms and endurance. Title deeds, regularization, and physical upgrading represent the three attributes of formalization representing compliance with formal regulations, and finally, trust building, capacity building, and asset building epitomize integration when an informal settlement victoriously formalizes. Regardless of whether or not the targeted settlements experienced all of these three types of transformations fully or partially, these efforts were compared and ranked for the target cities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Planning and Landscape ArchitectureUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.AtlantaUSA

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