عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
The majority of developing countries are unsatisfied with their spatial development of settlements and regional distribution of population and economic activities (Zebardast: 1383: 3). Urban system is an outcome of the contemporary urbanization whether from spatial concept i.e. the distribution of cities regarding to their size of population or from economic point of view as exchange system among different cities on the base of their basic functions. The urban network of Iran had a reasonable harmony in the past few decades but after socio-economic changes due to capitalism growth in the country and the injection of oil surplus into economy led to a concentration of capital and main infrastructures in the large cities like Tehran which consequently triggered the rapid rural-urban migration and disturbed the urban network and created imbalances in the urban hierarchical system of urban network. The northern cities of the country have specific features due to two geographical elements of mountain and sea. This region experienced a balanced growth due to its suitable climate and water resources. The increase of large number of small and intermediate urban centers especially in the decade of 1375- 1385 gave more importance to the four leading cities of the province which are Sari, Qemshahr, Babol and Amol so that about 52.5 percent of the urban population live in this area and also these four cities kept their position during the past four decades. In fact by concentration of these four regional giant cities the central Mazandaran has absorbed various socio-economic and administrative opportunities which other parts stayed quite behind such growth and development. This research by studying the urban network of the province attempted to investigate the balance of service distribution among the different urban centers and the important role of small and intermediate urban centers in the regional balanced growth of the region.