Civic Participation in the Central Region of Tehran: A Study on NGOs and City Councils

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Shirin AHMADNIA, Associate professor at Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran
Atena KAMEL GHALIBAF, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Iran
Public institutions are not the only agents of urban governance. Focusing on two other institutions namely NGOs and city councils, this research probes the question of participation. The aim of this research is to study the way in which people participate in the procedure of urban governance. To do so, the study concentrates on central region of Tehran, namely 6, 7, 11, and 12 districts. It also draws on qualitative research as the method and conducts 11 in-depth interviews with people from varied NGOs and 8 people from city councils of the above 4 districts. Results show that there is no significant constructive relation between NGOs and city councils, on the one hand, and between these two and the public institutions on the other hand. Neither is there a suitable context for the NGOs and city councils with considerable expertise to participate in the urban affairs. One can also witness the decreasing sense of belonging to the neighborhood even within the traditional districts such as 11 and 12. The research argues that part of this is due to the increasing rate of social problems and decaying social capital. This situation, in turn, tore apart the basis for civic participation.