International Development Planning Review

Autocratic urban design: The case of the Navab Regeneration Project in central Tehran

International Development Planning Review (2007), 29, (2), 241–270.

Abstract

Cities throughout the world have used urban design to achieve certain goals and purposes, political, social, functional, physical or aesthetic. In developing countries, however, it has been common to use urban regeneration plans in the older sections of large cities to eliminate urban blight and decay, to eventually achieve modernisation and, in some cases, to also overcome social problems. Traditional, unitary, autocratic, elitist approaches to design and decision-making are common, and, as numerous experiences show, result in complete failure. This study intends, through a post-construction/post-occupancy evaluation of the Navab Regeneration Project in central Tehran, to explore the relationship between the process of urban design and its product, and to see how the problems involved in urban design might be connected to the decision-making processes applied. Our premise here is that a rational, open, participatory urban design process, as a prerequisite for a communicative, collaborative, democratic civil society, will to a large extent guarantee the quality and success of the end product.

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Author details

Bahrainy, Hossein

Aminzadeh, Behnaz