A Comparative Study of the Role of Integrated Urban Management in Local Economic Development: A Case Study of Iran and South Africa


Department of Urban Design and Planning, Mashhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran


Today, on one hand, the need for "integrated urban management" to manage urban public affairs has become increasingly clear, given the spatial and demographic growth and the complexity of the issues and challenges of cities. On the other hand, one of the holistic approaches to urban planning to tackle current urban problems, especially in large cities, is the participatory approach of “Local Economic Development” (LED). Both integrated urban management strategies and the development of the local economy are presented as comprehensive and consistent models for the economic development of urban, regional and local environments. Therefore, the present study aims at a comparative study of the role of integrated urban management in the development of local economy. In the first step, indicators and components related to both approaches are extracted and then analyzed and selected in the study areas of the present study, namely, Iran and South Africa. This research is an analytical-descriptive study in terms of purpose, application and methodology, and its data collection was based on the study of library and documentary sources and their content analysis. The results of the study in both Iran and South Africa show that Iran has a leadership focus compared to South Africa on some areas of integrated urban management, such as coordination between the executive activities of city affairs agencies. The meta-organization has major weaknesses in organizing the dispersal of city affairs management, reporting the organization's performance to its citizens, the existence of trusts among the managers of the municipal affairs agencies, as well as the solidarity between the trustees of the urban affairs. Unfortunately, there are also problems with the development of the local economy in terms of creating economically productive programs, as well as providing daily urban services for low-income people. It can, therefore, be concluded that the local government and urban management systems, especially in the countries under study, have influenced the development of the local economy, in different ways, with the exception of the mechanisms and decisions related to the local economy in Africa. The South is largely responsible for local management tasks and functions, while in Iran it is usually not one of the main tasks of local management and is mostly in the area of macro management.