عنوان مقاله [English]
In recent decades, it was considered development and strengthening of small towns as a strategy for rural development and stressed that these cities as central places, have the most relations with rural settlements. So they have the potential to play an important role in the development of rural areas. In Iran following the policy of promoting villages to towns, many villages promoted to towns and they are considered as small towns in the settlement hierarchy. Of these towns is the present town of Eij located in Estahban County (Fars province) that has promoted to a town since 2002. So this study aims at examining the role of the present town of Eij in the development of villages in this county.
2. Theoretical bases:
There are several basic flows between urban and rural areas such as traffic of people, goods and capital. In this respect, small towns which are mostly rural areas promoting to towns are assigned as a link between rural areas and larger cities. These towns keep an organized relationship between cities and villages and easily transfer the necessary conditions and requirements of development to rural areas under their territories. These towns easily accept developmental incentives and have an effective role in the evolution of surrounding regions and regarding their size and structure, they have an appropriate potential to prevent problems emanating from urbanization. Focusing on the role of small towns in rural development and dealing with it has long been considered as an important subject in the related literature and there are various ideas about their role in the distribution of modernization, their function as service centers and also their role as to prevent rural migration. So, developing small towns which results to upward urbanization is an effective approach for regional development.
To show the role of promotion of Eij district to a town in the development of rural areas in this district, we characterized the indices into 6 groups and studied them. Our findings show that the mean value of all these indices is 3.13 with a 0.45 standard deviation. Among our studied indices, the highest mean values respectively belong to form-environment, persistence and satisfaction of population indices and the lowest mean values respectively belong to education-culture, facilities -services indices. Not only our library studies suggest population growth of Eij town compared with before becoming a town, but also show an increase in rural population of that compared with before becoming a town.
Our results show that promoting Eij to a town has had an effective role in developing the four indices employment, income and living expenses, population fixation and form-environment in rural areas and the other two indices i.e. facilities-services and education-culture had a little role in this regard. In sum, indices of form-environment of village and education-culture are respectively the most and least effective indices among the studied indices and there is a significant difference for all indices between villages of this district. We also found out that on one hand, there is a statistically significant relationship between the level of relations of our statistical population with the town and their evaluation of the townâs role and on the other hand, there is a direct significant relationship between the former index and their satisfactions of promoting Eij to a town. Our results collectively show that following the policy of promoting villages to towns, Eij as a small town center could have an effective role on the development of rural areas of the studied district and our results is along with some domestic literature such as Niksiresht et al. (2012), Izadi(2001) and Jomehpour et al (2011).
Finally, we pay attention to the subject that generalizing our results and adopting the policy of promoting villages to towns in all temporal and spatial situations is not reasonable and acceptable. In this regard, we refer to some domestic studies that have affirmed unsuccessfulness of the policy of transition to a town (Saraei et al. 2007, Karimi et al. 2012).so our general suggestion is that we must deal with time and space factors in the subject of promoting villages to towns.