Exclusionary Decision Making in Tehran Metropolitan Region- Complexity, Self organization and Power of Action

Document Type: Original Article


1 Associate professor, Faculty of Architecture and Environmental design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

2 Ph.D Ccandidate, Faculty of Architecture and Environmental design, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Viewing urban areas as webs of complex, interwoven networks, this article aims to analyze the decision-making process and its outcomes in Tehran metropolitan region. To do so, first the theoretical basis of complexity in urban life and its implications for planning have been reviewed. Using the main notion of power of action i.e. agency, and through creating the network of actors and their relations as defined by the planning system, a qualitative assessment has been carried out. Findings suggest that the concluded decision-making trends and their corresponding planning interventions are feeding the power conflicts between actors and have mainly turned the inherent capacity of self-organization to solve problems into a rather harmful occurrence through processes of exclusion, the most prominent of which are: partial involvement of the actors of the network and a disregard for their interactions, silo mentality and sectoral and fragmented decision making. All of this point out to the necessity of a move towards a form of decision making that is more facilitating, inclusive, fluid and bottom-up in every aspect.


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