Determination of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) According to Cultural and Social Issues in Spontaneous Settlements (Case Study: Neighborhood of Khaksefid-Tehran)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Daneshpajoohan Institute of Higher Education, Esfahan, Iran

2 Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Determination of floor area ratio (FAR) without paying attention to the cultural and social issues and just imitation of other patterns can’t be the right solution for housing problems. Therefore, it is essential to identify the factors that influence FAR to find the proper FAR with social and cultural features of the neighborhoods and to improve living conditions through providing optimized FAR. In this study, despite of the knowledge about the multiplicity of factors affecting FAR determination, only the social and cultural criteria were used for determining the FAR of Khaksefid neighborhood located on Tehran’s Metropolitan Fringe (TMF). Then the possible maximum density for each of the neighborhood blocks was calculated using the threshold analysis. Descriptive and analytic methods were used in this study. Moreover, attributive and survey methods for data gathering, Geographic Information System (GIS), and expert choice software were used for data analysis. To this end, theoretical and practical literature for density determination was reviewed. It pointed out that the most important indicators for considering density analysis are: 1) population density, 2) household size, 3) educational attainment, 4) cultural integration, 5) participation, 6) length of residence, 7) neighbor’s relations, 8) tendency to apartment living, 9) safety and security, and 10) housing tenure. After finding the indicators, two different methods were used for data gathering: first, the attributive method was used by referring to the previous researches, population and housing census in year 2006 for indicators including: 1) population density, 2) household size, 3) educational attainment, and 4) safety and security. Secondly, the survey method was used by filling Questionnaire in accordance with the Neyman’s allocation sampling technique for searching indicators including 1) cultural integration, 2) participation, 3) length of residence, 4) neighbor’s relations, 5) tendency to apartment living, and 6) housing tenure. Based on 1548 housing units in Khaksefid, by using Neyman’s allocation technique with (a = 0.05), taking the maximum acceptable error (d), that is the difference between estimated population proportion (Ph) and the true population proportion, to be 0.1 and with 90% confidence level, the total sample size was calculated to be 77 households. After finding required sample size in each block, Random sampling technique was applied to find the sample housing units among all the housing units. Likert scale was used to convert the qualitative data (very low, low, medium, high, and very high) into quantitative ones (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). By doing this, the score for each block in each indicator was determined. Furthermore, overlay analysis by utilizing the geographic information system (GIS) was used to calculate the final score for each block. For this reason and because of variation in the importance of the indicators and the necessity of having comparative framework, the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was applied. Then, the relative weight for each indicator was expressed in terms of the type and dynamic or stability of the indicators, their effectiveness and importance in reaching the goal by using the Saaty scale for comparison (1-9). At the end, final score for each block was determined by multiplying the relative weight for each indicator by the score which was obtained from the attributive method or Likert scale. The final score was classified in 4 categories (including Villas, housing complexes, apartments, and multi-story buildings) using the Natural breaks method in GIS. The results indicated that the most social and cultural capability to increase the FAR was in block 14, south of Navab Safavi square. High score in population density, length of residence, neighbor’s relations, and tendency to apartment living, despite its low score in safety, security and housing tenure were the contributing factors. On the other hand, the lowest social and cultural capability to increase the FAR was in block 10 in the southern part of the Golshan Park. Low population density, household size, cultural integration, length of residence and tendency to apartment living, were the contributing factors. Furthermore, this paper points out the necessity and importance for considering the social and cultural criteria as the effective ones along the other criteria such as economical and environmental in determining the neighborhood’s optimized FAR. In fact, disregarding the social and cultural criteria in housing provision by increasing the floor area ratio could cause problems and decrease the resident’s quality of life. Besides, although the result of this paper shows the social and cultural capability to increase the FAR in Khaksefid, the theoretical framework of that can be used for determining the optimized FAR in other neighborhoods.


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