Valuating urban environmental quality using factor analysis method (case study: Kermanshah metropolis)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Environmental Science and Enginnering, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran

2 Department of Environmental Science and Enginnering, Faculty of Natural Resource and Environment, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Rangeland and Watershed Management, Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran


Concerns about the inadequacy of environmental quality exist in most cities of Iran. Environmental problems represent one of the most important issues in modern urban areas, alongside their conflicts with the natural environment. The urban environment comprises the three sub-systems of natural environment, socio-economic environment, and human structure. Moreover, quality of life in cities is one of the main elements in urban development. As a consequence, Urban Environment Quality Assessment has been of great importance in urban development planning. Generally, quality of life is an important criterion for meeting the needs of urban citizens and for enabling social and economic services for them as well as ensuring access to such urban amenities as hospitals, parks, etc. This research study aimed to identify and rank the environmental indicators in Kermanshah city though use of a questionnaire, the Delphi technique and factor analysis. 
Materials and methods:
This research was descriptive-analytical in terms of its character and objectives, and fro the perspective of data and information collection in a documentary and survey manner. The statistical population of the study comprised environmental experts identifies according to their environmental conditions and the indicators were extracted using the Delphi technique, as a knowledge-gathering method, and questionnaires. The members of the Delphi panel comprised between 10-15 people distributed over two or three rounds based on the agreement of the members of the questionnaire group. With the consent of the members of the Delphi panel, three rounds of questionnaires were distributed and, in each round, some of the indices were eliminated from the total of the questions and the factors that scored highest in each round were selected for the next one. In order to evaluate and analyse the questionnaire data and determine the main factors, a factor analysis method was used in SPSS software. Factor analysis is a method for reducing a large number of quantitative variables into a small number of underlying assumed variables, known as agents, and its main purpose is to reduce the volume of data and to determine the most important variables in the formation of a particular phenomenon. 
 Results and discussion:
According to the results of the analysis of questionnaires in three rounds of 51 primary indicators extracted from internationally accredited institutions and indices of Iran, and the localization of these indicators for Kermanshah, 15 indicators were selected as final indicators. After analysing the data using the factor analysis method in SPSS software, the results showed that among the 15 final factors, the six following factors relating to air pollution monitoring station density, wastewater treatment, natural disasters, ratio of durable buildings to total buildings, the volume of produced waste, and the density of green spaces were of a high magnitude of one and were selected as the main factors that gave a total of 82.336 variance among the community. The factor of air pollution monitoring station density was allocated as the first factor with the highest variance at 31.046. 
Thus, it can be concluded that the determination of indicators for assessing the quality of urban environmental conditions is considered as the most important and is the first step in determining the quality of any given urban environment. In addition to studying and studying the urban environment of Kermanshah, this research provides an appropriate basis for developing strategies for urban sustainability with environmental attitudes in order for environmental conditions of Kermanshah to evolve. Of the six final factors, there are four physical-chemical factors that indicate the high sensitivity of this environment and the need for high level officials to increase the quality of this urban environment.


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