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Javad Mikaniki, Zahra Sarzehi, Mohammad Eskandari-Sani,
Volume 5, Issue 15 (5-2016)

The role of cities in rural development is determined by rural-urban relations, so ruralurban relations affect both urban changes and rural changes. The relation between city centers and the surrounding rural areas includes people, commodities, money and information as well as social, economic and cultural interactions. New paradigms for development, consider networks and progresses; because networks and progresses between rural and urban areas are important. New paradigms for development, consider networks and progresses; because networks and progresses between rural and urban areas are important. These types of cities (as a center for rural development) play an important role in development process of the villages and they provide services for creating marketplace, supplying agricultural agents, and urban services such as educational facilities, healthcare facilities, etc. in their rural district. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the role of small cities, their position and their function in rural development. The city of Sarbisheh is located on south-east part of Birjand County and in BirjandZahedan international highway; it is bordered by Birjand County to the north-west, to Nehbandan County to the south and to Afghanistan to the east. This city is considered as one of the deprived cities of South-Khorasan province which has many problems and limitations. Regarding the suggested problem, this study tries to answer some question precisely: “Is it possible for Sarbisheh as a small city to attract population in the major centers of population?” and “to what extent was the city of Sarbisheh as an intermediary between other cities, effective in providing services to its rural district?”
Regarding its aim, this is a practical study and considering its nature and methodology, it is a descriptive analytic one. Data collection was performed through documentary and field study (questionnaires). Statistical population for this study includes villages of Sarbisheh too. Since this study aims to discuss about the role of Sarbisheh in rural development, for determining sample size out of the studied statistical population, multistage sampling has been used in household level randomly; by using Cochran’s Formula, 350 households in 50 villages were studied. Villages were selected randomly from three districts: central districts included Doroh rural district and MoemenAbad; Mood district included Mood rural district and Naharjan; and Doroh district included Ghinab and Lano. For data collection in the studied areas, questionnaires have been used. Validity of the questions was evaluated by university professors and experts; after calculating Cronbach's Alfa measure which was 0.843 for 22 questions in economic field, 0.702 percent for 10 questions in social field, 0.810 percent for 11 questions in cultural field and 0.841 percent for 7 questions in healthcare field, stability of the questionnaire was determined too. For dada analysis, descriptive and inferential statistic criteria in SPSS environment were applied.
Discussion and Conclusion
Today, most researchers emphasize on the role of small cities in national, regional and local development, improvement of rural-urban relations, and decreasing migration of villagers to big cities in their findings. Since, the dominance of urban society on the surrounding rural districts is regarded as an obstacle to rural development, studying the role of small cities in the surrounding rural districts is of great importance. Basically, findings indicate that it is necessary to improve and equip small cities as the last loop of connection for connecting urban system to rural system, inhibit migration, sustain the population, decrease the gap in exploiting services and providing service poles to rural districts. Basically, findings indicate that it is necessary to improve and equip small cities as the last loop of connection to connect urban system to rural system, inhibit migration, sustain the population, decrease the gap in exploiting services and provide service poles to rural districts. Small cities are considered as centers that play an important role in rural development regarding their location in the path of villagers to big cities, and they can remove many problems that rural districts face with them. Based on this issue, the role of Sarbisheh in rural development as a small center of the city is considered. Lack of necessary power in Sarbisheh for providing optimal services to the surrounding rural areas could not inhibit villagers’ migration to other cities especially to the metropolitan area, Birjand. So, in the case of population sustainability or more accurately, in migration inhibition and modification of its factors, this city could not play a significant role. Finally, considering that Sarbisheh is incapable of absorbing population in major centers of population and it cannot be a suitable intermediary between other cities in providing services to its rural district, these solutions are presented for improving the status quo:
- Improving the services and road facilities for Sarbisheh; because this city is located in the road network of Chabahar-Mashhad, it can be considered as an
important potential for job creation Expanding health care services especially for attracting the Keywords: Rural Development, Small Cities, Migration, Sarbisheh County

- Attendance of medical specialists in Sarbisheh,
- Establishing related university courses which are suitable to needs of rural society and which are practical ones.

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