Regional Sustainability ›› 2023, Vol. 4 ›› Issue (1): 28-43.doi: 10.1016/j.regsus2023.02.004

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A new approach towards the sustainability of urban-rural integration: The development strategy for central villages in the Abbasiya District of Iraq using GIS techniques

Ahmed Hussein ALLAWI(), Haider Mohammed Jawad AL-JAZAERI   

  1. College of Physical Planning, University of Kufa, Najaf, 54001, Iraq
  • Received:2022-10-06 Accepted:2023-02-24 Online:2023-03-30 Published:2023-04-14
  • Contact: Ahmed Hussein ALLAWI


The development of rural areas usually has a positive impact on the urban-rural integration. This study explores an innovative approach to stimulate rural development by proposing qualified villages as central villages that can provide basic urban services for their residents and residents of neighboring villages. This approach can contribute to overcoming the various problems that rural areas faced at the social, economic, and environmental levels. It seeks to achieve spatial sustainability of rural areas, representing a new approach by integrating urban development methods to revitalize rural villages. The study analyzed 15 villages belonging to Abbasiya District of AL Kufa City in the Najaf Governorate of Iraq. Based on the GIS techniques and the analysis of urban service indicators (village population, percentage of urban building materials used in villages, distance between village and health centers, distance between village and main roads, nature of economic activity, distance between village and educational institutions, distance between village and drinking water sources, number of communication towers, and distance between village and urban administrative center), this study proposed that Abu Gharb and Albu Ghraib can served as central villages in Abbasiya District in the future. This study establishes a new rural spatial structure to achieve rural sustainable development, improves the development status of rural areas, and provides a theoretical basis for the government and relevant institutions to use urban service indicators, achieving rural sustainable development and formulating relevant development policies in Abbasiya District.

Key words: Central villages, Spatial reorganization, Rural sustainable, Development, Urban-rural integration, Urban service, Abbasiya District, Iraq