عنوان مقاله [English]
Mazandaran province is one of the important population absorbers of the country; for its varied ecosystem that is suitable for life and for its varied natural attractions and valuable environmental landscapes. In 1986, it had 33 urban points with a population equal to 893.293 people (39.2% of the province population). In 1996, the number of urban points of the province increased to 37 points which had settled in itself a population equal to 1.202.469 people (46.2% of the province population) upon urban increase, of 6.9%. In the census made in 2006, 51 cities equal to 5% out of 1020 urban points of the country belonged to Mazandaran province that, with a population of 1.568.949 people, consists of 3.2% of urban population of country and 54.2% of province population that for the first time in the development history of the province, the average urbanite population of the province exceeded rural population. This increase in urbanity and use of land without taking into consideration ecologic differences and environmental potentials will be followed by unpleasant consequences and destruction of environment and ultimately threatens natural resources and impedes the environment from sustainable development. This present research is done, in order to classify the urban development in Mazandaran province based on ecological potentials by using multi criteria decision making and with the use of geographic information system in Mazandaran province. The results showed that 23 percent of the province area (1187 ecological unit equal to 53257.908 ha) is located in suitable class, 47% of the province area (1275 ecological unit equal to 1125391.652 ha) is in mid. class and 47 percent of province area (2192 ecological unit equal to 720143.65 ha) is belonged to unsuitable class of urban development and utilization in Mazandaran province.