Journal of
Geography and Regional Planning

  • Abbreviation: J. Geogr. Reg. Plann.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2070-1845
  • DOI: 10.5897/JGRP
  • Start Year: 2008
  • Published Articles: 391

Full Length Research Paper

The nature of big villages and small towns: Towards creating ideal small settlements

  Sartipipour Mohsen    
Department of Architecture, School of Architecture and Urbanism, Shahid Beheshti University, Evin, Tehran, I.R. Iran. 
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 17 April 2012
  •  Published: 31 October 2012



Iran is a country with over 1,013 big and small cities and 63,898 small, average and big villages. Complexities of life in big cities on one hand, and the shortcomings in basic facilities of small villages on the other, have raised many problems concerning living in them. However, a certain group of such settlements can be quite recognized, that is, some big villages and small towns with relative capacities of economical activities and environmental, social and physical potentials can act as mediators between big cities and small villages. Due to such facilities and also because “sustainability” is rooted in the essence of villages, it is possible to convert them to ideal settlements. This paper argues that urban planning principles can also be applied to various living complexes including villages, and this provides the possibility of using urban planning principles of New Urbanism and Urban Village movements for rural settlements. For this purpose, the concept of sustainability is elaborated, the desirable indicators of utopias are introduced from viewpoint of social reformers, the main features of indigenous urban planning in Iran are recounted and finally the possibility of realization of the doctrines of ideal settlements in such big villages and small towns will be discussed.


Key words: Iran, village, indigenous urban planning, Utopia, Ideal small settlement.