Identification and analysis of key stakeholders to prioritize ecosystem services for integration into Arak urban development plans

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and UrbanPlanning of Art, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Environment and Fisheries, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Lorestan University, Khorram Abad, Iran.



The increase in the urbanization rate along with land use changes has been resulted in the destruction of natural systems and the reduction of ecosystem services (ES). Identifying the stakeholders who are affected by ES or are influencing is a fundamental part of the integrating process of the ES concept in urban development plans. The prioritization of ES by stakeholders is one of the most important outcomes of stakeholders' participation due to the reduction of complexity, time and cost of their evaluation and management. This research was based on the mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) and in three steps. In the first step, key stakeholders (22 categories) were identified and classified using semi-structured interviews with experts (13 people) through the Interest-power matrix. In the second step, 34 interviewees were selected through snowball sampling from the 22 categories of key stakeholders identified in the previous step, and the important ecosystem services of Arak were identified using the focused focus group technique, then they determined most important effects of the city's comprehensive plan. In the third step, using the method of evaluating preferences in the form of a questionnaire by the interviewees, Arak ecosystem services were prioritized based on suitability for inclusion in the master plan. The results showed that from 22 stakeholder categories identified in Arak in four groups of government and organization, business, education and research, civil society, administration of roads and urban development and administration of environment of Markazi province have got the highest level of power and Interest to integrate ES in order to help for integrating ES into Arak urban plans. The results showed that services i.e., air quality (4.68), water supply (4.12) and climate regulation (4.03) are very important in Arak and according to the respondents, they have got more priority to be addressed in the master plan.


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