Drivers of urban sprawl in two large Middle-eastern countries: literature on Iran and Egypt

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Issue: Volume 12, Issue 1, 2018


This paper reviews the relevant literature of Iran and Egypt as two large countries of the region and concludes that four phenomena are common between the two countries and are accountable for sprawling, namely (1) wholesale land selling to the lower economic class, (2) deficiencies of planning systems in controlling development plans, (3) fast and uncontrolled increase in urban population, and (4) rural-urban migration. These drivers are categorized in two classes of demographic and planning-related trends. Besides, there is a number of peculiar trends that have nationwide causes but are uncommon in Iran and Egypt. The authors of this paper consider that the demographic drivers or sprawl addressed by the Middle Eastern scholars are not actual causes but only consequences, or there is a correlation between the demographic factors and sprawl. More in-depth historical and socioeconomic studies are needed to find the associations between sprawl and unstudied phenomena like change in technologies, culture, and lifestyle.

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Authors Affiliations

Houshmand E. Masoumi* (a), Maryamsadat Hosseini (b), Amr Ah. Gouda (c)
a) Technische Universität Berlin, Germany
b) Rutgers University NJ, USA
c) Technische Universität Berlin, Germany; Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
* Corresponding author. Email:


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