RECONSTRUCTION OF IRANIAN CITY CENTERS AFTER THE ISLAMIC REVOLUTION (1979–2005): CASE STUDY OF MASHHAD
Free (open access)
Volume 6 (2011), Issue 2
166 - 180
Iran boasts 87,000 ha of historical places in more than 242 cities by virtue of its historical background and its geographical situation (predominantly cold and dry climate). Hence, the most critical issue the country is confronted with at present is the reconstruction of the historical buildings and places of the cities. The purpose of this study is to review the reconstruction project of Mashhad city center, Iran’s second largest metropolis, as an instance of urban redevelopment projects carried out in Iran since 1979. The present study was conducted in the city center of Mashhad by dividing it into two distinct parts: direct intervention area (under supervi-sion of governmental authorities) and indirect intervention area (under supervision of the private sector and sub-governmental authorities). The results obtained from questionnaires show that in the direct intervention area residents are faced with a great deal of problems (forced relocation, unemployment, low incomes, cultural–social alienation, eviction and so forth). In the indirect intervention area, they came up against fi nancial problems, issuance of construction permits, etc. Finally, the city center reconstruction project has undergone a change from a large-scale redevelopment and non-participatory plan to a stockholder sharing and market-oriented commercial one. These transitional plans reveal a non-participatory approach to the city center reconstruction. For instance, property owners in the area have been ignored during this process. If this trend continues, the chances of implementing the plan in the long run would be limited.
City center, Iran, Mashhad, reconstruction