ISSN: 2322-2875

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor School of Urban and Regional Planning College of Fine Arts University of Tehran


An investigation of the documents on regional development in Fars Province, Iran shows that there is such a wide gap between the ideals mentioned in the plans and their potentials for realization that it has turned into a big challenge how to realize the spatial prospects of the development plans in the province. By reviewing the development documents from 1997 to 2013, the authors found that the province suffered from a range of uncertainties in all the regional scenarios. Therefore, the prospects and objectives of the plan have not been realized throughout the period. In this research, futurology was adopted as a method for foresight and specification of the uncertainties based on the available information. Employment of this method along with scenario-based strategic planning enables the local administrators to imagine the various images of future development and prepare themselves for different conditions to take place. On that basis, the driving forces and uncertainties were first defined using the Delphi method and structural analysis. The results of the models demonstrated that the key uncertainties for the province included freeway and highway network access, information technology speed, air freight terminals, access to the sea, and railway technology and network. Although not included on the list, water resources and regional administration were both added as suggested by the expert experience. Furthermore, the prospects of the province were divided into nine driving forces, including high-tech industries (electronics, aerospace, information technology, and pharmacy), agricultural industries (agriculture, animal husbandry, and the food industry), other industries (oil, gas, the petrochemical industry, mining, energy-intensives industries, and the automotive industry), healthcare service (medicine, ophthalmology, and organ transplantation), tourism (tourism and handicrafts), transportation (airport services, railways, and road transport), other services (higher education, financial services, technical and engineering services, and trade), knowledge economy (knowledge-based activities, bio- and nanotechnology), and defense. 21 strong scenarios were then found using the cross-impact balance method, classified into three major scenarios: Scenario 1, strong local performance and weak national performance, Scenario 2, strong national performance and weak international performance, and Scenario 3, strong international performance and a single national performance. In the first scenario, the spatial framework of the province moves toward the monocentric pattern, with the national functions administered by the government, due to the severe shortage of water resources, fragmented management, and undeveloped infrastructure. In the second scenario, the province can play a substantial role at the national level and a weak role at the international level, with cluster networks functioning as the spatial pattern, due to the integrated management, particularly with respect to the water resources, . In the last scenario, the province exhibits great international performance in all its prospects, functioning at the national level only in the defense sector, thanks to the regional governance, developed infrastructure, and influence on international processes. Furthermore, weighted strategies along with control indicators were presented for all the above scenarios.


Main Subjects

Abbott, John (2009). Planning for Complex Metropolitan Regions: A better Future or a More Certain One? Journal of Planning Education and Research, 28(4):503-517

Abbott, John (2012). Planning as managing uncertainty: making the 1996 livable region strategic plan for greater Vancouver. Planning Practice & Research, 27(5):571-593

Arcade,Jacques, Godet,michel, Meunier,Francis and Roubelat, Fabrice (2000). Structural Analysis With the MICMAC Method & Actors’ Strategy With MICMAC Method.

Berger, Roland (2013). Scenario-based Strategic Planning Developing Strategies in an Uncertain World. London: Spinger. 37-39

ESPON (2014). Making Europe Open and Polycentric Vision and Scenarios for the European Territory 2050. ESPON.2-12

Fars province long-term plan (2004). Shiraz: Fars Province’s Planning and Management Organization. [in Persian]

Fars province development theoretical basis (2012). Shiraz: Fars Province’s Planning and Management Organization. [in Persian]

Fars province physical plan (2010). Shiraz: Fars province’s Ministry of Road and Urban Planning. [in Persian]

Grubler, Arnulf, Ermoliev, Yuri, Kryazhimskiy (2015). Coping with uncertainties-example of modeling approaches at IIASA. Technological Forecasting and Social change. 98:213-222

Islamic Iran’s Town and Country Planning: Summery report of the first phase (1984). Tehran: Iran’s Planning and Management Organization. 263-264 [in Persian]

Kosow, Hannah, Gabner, Robert (2008). Methods of future and scenario analysis overview, assessment, and selection criteria. Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik

Mic Mac help(2001). URL: 

Mintzberg, Henry(1979). Patterns in strategy formation. International Studies of Management and Organization. 9(3) 67-86

Setiran’s Town and Country Planning: Final report:  Urban system and its strategies (1976). Tehran: Iran’s Planning and Management Organization. 20-65[in Persian]

Turoff, G.H. , Linstone, H.A. (2002). The Delphi method: techniques and applications. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.

UNDP (2009). Handbook on planning, monitoring and evaluating for development result.

Weimer-Jehle, Wolfgang (2016). ScenarioWizard 4.2 Constructing Consistent Scenarios Using Cross-Impact Balance Analysis. Stuttgart: Stuttgart Research Center for Interdisciplinary Risk and Innovation Studie .

Wulf, Torsten, Meibner, Philip, Stubner, Stephan (2010). A Scenario-based Approach to Strategic-Integrating Planning and Process Perspective of Strategy. Leipzig Graduate School of Management.