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Urban Sprawl, Socioeconomic Features, and Travel Patterns in Middle East Countries: A Case Study in Iran

Mehriar, Melika; Masoumi, Houshmand; Mohino, Inmaculada

The present study aimed to investigate different socioeconomic factors as well as the perceptions and travel behaviors associated with urban sprawl in two cities of different sizes in Iran, as a developing country in the Middle East. Four Weighted Least Squares (WLS) regression models were developed for Hamedan and Nowshahr, as examples of large and small cities in Iran, respectively. The findings showed different correlations related to urban sprawl between Iranian cities and high-income countries in terms of socioeconomic and travel behavior determinants. Urban sprawl around home in Hamedan was positively correlated with the number of cars and driving licenses in households, the use of a private car for trips, and less use of public transport. Urban sprawl around homes in Nowshahr was related to an increased number of cars, the use of private cars for non-commuting trips, less sense of belonging to the neighborhood, and lower income. Additionally, urban sprawl around workplaces was correlated with main daily activity, number of non-commuting trips, mode of choice for non-commuting, and residential location choice in Hamedan a swell as monthly income, daily shopping area, frequency of public transport use, quality of recreational facilities, length of time for living in the current home, and commuting distance in Nowshahr.
Published in: Sustainability, 10.3390/su12229620, MDPI