Evaluation of urban ecological sustainability in arid lands (case study: Yazd-Iran)

Parastoo Parivar, David Quanrud, Ahad Sotoudeh, Mahdieh Abolhasani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Nowadays, the world is facing rapid urbanization and increasing desertification. Therefore, urban planning in these regions should be based on comprehensive understanding of the constraints and vulnerabilities of arid lands. In this study, the sustainability condition of a rapidly growing city in a dry landscape, Yazd, Iran, was assessed using a previously developed framework. The framework is based on the conceptual principle of close relations between structure and function and is comprised of three main components and 16 metrics. By evaluating the status and trends of these metrics, and using the analytical hierarchy process method, the score of Yazd sustainability was determined as 0.28 out of 1.0, indicating the city is far from a state of sustainability. Current urban development policies in this region exacerbate unstable conditions. Given the constraints on achieving urban sustainability in arid regions, physical urban development should be aligned with local ecological potential. In the process of urban growth, local knowledge and ecological values in these areas must be protected. Applying this sustainability assessment process in other dryland cities will improve this evaluative framework and help achieve rational principles for sustainable urban development strategies in arid lands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2797-2826
Number of pages30
JournalEnvironment, Development and Sustainability
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Arid lands
  • Citizens’ security and satisfaction
  • Urban biophysical structure
  • Urban ecosystem dynamic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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