Transit-Oriented Urban Design at the Top of Iran's Urban Planning Agenda
publish date: Tuesday 28 August 2018
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MRUD News—The general guidelines for urban design based on transit-oriented development (TOD) were approved by the Supreme Council of Urban Planning and Architecture on 27 August 2018.
According to the Minister and Head of the Council, Abbas Akhoundi: "This approval is a decisive move to a paradigm shift in urban design, while there is still a long way ahead".
The idea was followed seriously since November 2014 and after long discussions among urban planners and designers as well as transport experts at different professional levels, the general guideline for urban design based on transit-oriented development (TOD) were approved by the Supreme Council and a long-waited ideal urban policy was actualized.
By now, urban design in Iranian cities was mainly car-dominated which gives priority to car rather than pedestrians. The cities were previously designed for cars instead of citizens. However, the new agenda is to design the cities for pedestrians who want to choose public transport for their daily commute.
This requires an attitude change toward city; one from a physical system to a human system that could expand public spaces for people including local leisure facilities like green spaces, recreation and shopping centers etc.
Akhoundi explained that: "an efficient urban design should provide the citizens with easy access to public transport including subway, tram, or bus. The radical change in urbanization pattern through TOD-oriented urban design also will be a fundamental initiative to reduce air pollution and environmental improvements".
This is a long-term goal and demands a shift in public lifestyle and urban authorities' attitude toward the city. There is a long way ahead; however, the first giant step to change fundamental urban planning policies was taken strongly.