عنوان مقاله [English]
The Iranian government has adopted upgrading and enabling approaches to informal settlements since the early 2000s. Furthermore, enhanced upgrading and enabling activities, dubbed “urban regeneration,” have been initiated in the country’s informal settlements over the past few years. This article assesses the pilot urban regeneration activities, carried out in the informal settlements of Sabzevar, from the perspective of the beneficiaries. Field work—including field observations and a quantitative survey (308 questionnaires administered to female residents) as well as interviews and focus group discussions—was carried out in two informal settlements of Sabzevar during two time periods. Findings reveal a number of positive effects associated the regeneration activities. Furthermore, convening the sessions of the Regeneration Taskforce with the presence of residents has enhanced local participation, sense of ownership vis-à-vis the projects, and trust in urban management. Yet, as a pilot for the new regeneration approach (that is, enhanced upgrading), the initiative cannot be said to have moved beyond those of the earlier upgrading and enabling projects. The activities have faced a number of shortcomings similar to the earlier initiatives, including failure to prepare the detailed physical plan of the target neighborhoods prior to the start of the regeneration initiatives, failure to secure the needed land for certain projects, inadequate attention given to local institution building, and limited scope of social and enabling activities. Also, measures to prevent further proliferation of informal settlements have been reduced to creating a protective green belt.