Rural Growth and Decay: Analysis of Physical-Spatial Transformation of Rural Area in Iran (Case Staudy: Kahak Area of Qom Province)

Document Type: Original Paper


1 Professor , Center for Rural Design, University of Minnesota, United States of America.

2 Departman urban planning, Faculty of Art and architecture, University of Kurdistan, Sanndaj, Iran.

3 Department of Geography and rural planning, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Shahid Beheshti, Tehran, Iran.


Human settlements experience continual change. In recent years, many rural areas have experienced dispersed grow (rural sprawl) and population declines in traditional village centers (Hollowing). These paradoxical phenomena have occurred in most developing countries, including rural Iran. This study examines this phenomena in three Iranian villages of Kahak area of Qom province, and develops a model that can help predict how these trends will occur in the future. This study randomly selected 138 household for analysis. It analyzed eight variables that affect village development, including heritage, rural- urban migration, households’ structure changes, land price, quality of buildings, and geometrical shape of village. findings indicate that inheritance and migration variables have the highest influence on settlement transformation. Based on this analysis, it is predicted that among the there villages, Veshnave and Khurabad will maintain balanced population, but Abarjis will experience hollowing and decay.