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Paper Information

Journal:   HONAR-HA-YE-ZIBA   SPRING 2007 , Volume - , Number 29; Page(s) 17 To 28.
 
Paper: 

AN INVESTIGATION OF THE CONCEPTS AND METHODS OF QUANTITATIVE CARRYING CAPACITY ANALYSIS -A CASE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN HAMEDAN ABBASSABAD-GHANJNAMEH VALLEY

 
 
Author(s):  TABIBIAN M.*, SETOUDEH A., SHAYESTEH K., CHALABIANLOU R.
 
* SCHOOL OF URBAN PLANNING, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS, UNIVERSITY OF TEHRAN, TEHRAN, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

It is recognized, as an underpinning principle, that the process of land use planning and management implies adoption and application of appropriate methods o evaluate suitability and capability of land units for different uses. Once this is achieved, techniques are also required to provide time bounded analytical estimations of permissible quantities of the uses of land resources in the defined suitable land units. Through the past three decades, quantitative methods for carrying capacity analysis, along with other techniques for evaluation of land resources, have been developed and widely applied for variety of planning schemes including urban and regional planning, tourism development and biological conservation. The concept and applicability of carrying capacity has been subject to criticism in the sense that different research traditions and cultures have employed different meanings based on their perceptions of the concept and as such, varieties of techniques have been applied for the purpose. This means that as a prerequisite for any effort on carrying capacity analysis it would be necessary to strengthen the consensus among researchers, policy developers and stakeholders. Despite these limitations, carrying capacity remains a useful concept for environmental and resource management, especially in providing insights about the interaction of human activities with the environment. The later implies that carrying capacity analysis should be based on determination of levels of acceptable changes. In a recreational context, central to all definitions of carrying capacity is the idea of maintenance of the integrity of the resource base and the provision of high-quality recreation experience to users. This study aims to theoretically analyze and methodologically investigate the measures currently being applied for carrying capacity analysis within the framework of sustainable development. The assumption here is that the output of quantitative carrying capacity analysis is simply a measure, based on which decision makers are assumed to build their strategic management targets taking the community base value system and other management objectives into account. Through a literature review and a comparative analysis, this study intends to provide a theoretical basis for further investigations on the advanced methods of carrying capacity analysis in the future. The text is divided into two main parts. The first part addresses the theoretical concepts, components and methodological framework of quantitative carrying capacity analyses. Consequently, application of a quantitative method developed by IUCN in 1996 for tourism development combined with a weighting-scaling method is presented as a case study through the rest of the article. Results of the research revealed that application of the quantitative carrying capacity methods described in this article could provide a quantitative measure, based on which decision makers would be able to adopt appropriate adjustments to the strategies through the lifecycle of the development projects. It was also recognized that the carrying capacity concept could be served as a basis to monitor whether the levels of structural and functional integrity and health of the ecological systems are maintained and if the ecological processes continue to be in equilibrium in a long run. Also it was concluded that the carrying capacity could be taken as an adaptive, dynamic and evolving concept.

 
Keyword(s): CARRYING CAPACITY, LIMITS OF ACCEPTABLE CHANGES, WEIGHTED SCORING, TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
 
References: 
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