Identification and Analysis of Key Drivers of Change in Regional Land Use Planning based on Foresight Approach in Gorgan Township

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Faculty of Fishery and Environmental Sciences, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

2 Professor, Faculty of Fishery and Environmental Sciences, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Gorgan, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Faculty of Fishery and Environmental Sciences, Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources,Gorgan, Iran

4 Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Economy, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Golestan University, Gorgan, Iran

5 Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University, Maryland State, USA


Foresight analysis in land-use planning lets decision makers overcome complexity and reduce uncertainty through a focus on key drivers. This study attempts to identify the most important drivers of change in land use/cover planning in Gorgan Township with the participation of managers and academic experts towards a desired future. The approach is normative and the required data were obtained through investigation of scientific literature and land-use planning documents of Golestan Province. Interviews and meetings with experts also inform the process. Following a literature review, 77 effective factors on the future of land use/cover in the Province were identified. Among these, 22 representative factors were selected according to expert opinions. Two groups, totaling 70 people, consisting of managers of organizations in Golestan Province with links to land use planning and academic experts were asked to answer an online or in-person questionnaire of the effective factors. The structural analysis and cross-impact matrix were applied to the data. According to the result, the factors “Imperative policies”, “Technology”, “Governmental Services” and “Transportation and energy infrastructure” are the key drivers of change in land use/cover and affect the implementation of land-use planning in Gorgan Township. Both groups approved the "Imperative policies" as the most significant key driver which can affect other factors.


Main Subjects

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Volume 11, Issue 2
Autumn & Winter
October 2019
Pages 205-233
  • Receive Date: 21 July 2019
  • Revise Date: 11 December 2019
  • Accept Date: 11 December 2019