Urban growth theories and the urban growth pattern for the Upper Euphrates region of Iraq
During the last four decades, Iraq, like most other developing countries, faced very rapid urban growth. Due to thr absence of definite urbanisation policies, the major part of the urban growth went to the main cities, in particular , the capital Baghdad. Such a pattern of growth created many socio-economic problems at the national, as well as the urban level. This study represents an attempt toward developing a methodology of dealing with urban growth problems on a regional level in Iraq. It aims at finding what is thought to be, under the prevailing socio-economic and physical constraints, the most efficient urban growth pattern in the Upper Euphrates Region (U.E.R.) up to 1985. To achieve this aim the study first reviews and critically examines a wide range of urban growth theories and models. Despite the lessons that were learned from this review and the adoptation of many of their principles in developing this study, they did not provide a ready made answer to the problem of urban growth in the region Secondly, for the better understanding of urbanisation on and spatial development policies in Iraq and the U.E.R. a thorough examination of these and other aspects has been dealt with in part two. Thirdly, after examining the basic techniques that could be used in analysing the urban growth problem, such as the cost-benefit analysis and its refinement the planning balance sheet, threshold analysis and the goals-achievement analysis, it is found that the latter, at this stage of development in Iraq could be applied in studying such a problem. Finally, three alternative urban growth patterns were considered, i.e., the expansion of the largest urban centre in each urban node, the expansion of the proposed smaller urban centres and the establishment of a new town in each urban node and a set of socio-economic, physical, environmental and structural, factors that were thought to affect strongly the proposed urban growth patterns were incorporated in the analysis. From these it was found that the expansion of the largest urban centre in each urban nod e is the most suitable solution at this stage of the socio-economic development of the region. The vitality of this conclusion was tested by applying sensitivity analysis which supported it.