SkyscraperCity banner

41 - 49 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,924 Posts
To alexal
I agree ,i never said eliminate cars , but for everyday tranpsort , its best to have alternatives
Of course you need cars for economic muscle and goods
But what about the 90 percent of the cars that are only for personal use ? Most cars arent used for goods
The main issue is that iranian cities and their likes are built only in consideration of the fact that "the people will drive to wherever they need to"
Its the need to drive that needs to be reduced
Its not a matter of tehran or amsterdam its more for every city

Take into consideration the many small satellite towns around tehran
All are grids
The streets are layed out first and then filled with residential areas
No major public transport system or office region that is accessible to the people is made
Hence for even the most basic things like schools and work people travel with their cars
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,263 Posts
To alexal
I agree ,i never said eliminate cars , but for everyday tranpsort , its best to have alternatives
Of course you need cars for economic muscle and goods
But what about the 90 percent of the cars that are only for personal use ? Most cars arent used for goods

That is true but concider this. For the economy to run smoothly, a business needs goods, labour and customers. A city functions well economically when these factors come together for the least cost possible. But the initial factor is to provide the means, any means, for them to come together. Otherwise the city and the community will have to migrate or starve. Tehran did not have any other means to make this possible until very recently. So trade was done locally. You bought goods in Tajrish if you lived in Shemiran, or in the bazaar if you lived I'm Tehran proper. There were no local shops other than the very very basics. So growth was really slow and production of goods restricted by how quickly demand grew. This is a very basic model and other factors come into in but I have left them out for simplicity. So the minimum you can provide is the means for economy to function. As the city grows and the population density increases, then it becomes viable to provide rapid transit so core economic nodes are interconnected, ie if you need cement, it can get to you directly rather than through the city centre. On top of that as the population prospers, their individual needs come into play. That is when you persuade people that it is better to use public transport. Not by banning cars if you want to at least allow a semblance of self determination, but by providing faster, cheaper alternatives. The green issue is also a factor that persuades people not to use their own cars. Again it is best if they determine this by themselves. I think Tehran has now reached this juncture. If this was forced 5 years ago, you can bet on the fact that people would see it as an act of defiance to drive one at a time in gas guzzlers. The fact that government has to respond, or be seen to respond to demand is crucial for people to feel they are in charge. That is one of the first rules of democracy. You can try and persuade but if you get the timing wrong, whatever issue it is, becomes a political football and rarely gets resolved quickly. I know you think the mullahs don't care anyway, but if you look carefully you will see that politically they do respond although it is always accompanied by a lot of hot air why it is not up to others to decide blah blah.

With Tehran, the way the villages were connected together over time, it meant that they were semi self sufficient and you could never get economies of scale. Each little district had its own plumber, ironmonger, fruit seller etc and because transport was not easy, they all stayed quite small. This is just an example and I am using hypotheticals bear that in mind. Tehran never had any arterial road system. So when 20 years ago it was looked at seriously, it was decided to skip waiting any longer and to simultaneously build a quite substantial metro system, connect outlying sub-cities with Tehran by rail and develope a grid like fast track motorway to alleviate the need for interconnectivity. The danger is always that private cars would flood the new roads. But the benefits outweigh this danger and by other means, the attraction of private cars would be reduced. The metro system in Tehran is not an easy task because the city did /does not have a sewer system - that is also 70% done now - so individual houses had their own well to get rid of waste. That means the city is full of unexpected surprises to say the least. And there is a sort of rocky outcrop that goes across the city under the topsoil. This rock is most likely granite and really tough to dig through. So with the sanctions, I think it was felt they should provide the roads anyway even if the subway would be delayed so the economy would not freeze all together. I think that was sensible. To hold that back and restrict driving at that point would have make the local economy much worse. Now that the metro system is getting into gear, the measures to reduce traffic can be taken without affecting everyone's pocket too deeply. It's a matter of priority I guess. But also my point was that the road network is not that over the top. If you look at it on a map, you can make out the grid shape somewhat. That is the best possible because the areas are built up already and to avoid forced purchase of houses, the grid is somewhat skewiff. That grid is needed anyway just to make sure cost of transport does not dampen demand too much. I should mention the cost of a product is made up of cost of materials, cost of labour and cost of transport. If transport cost is too much, the other two suffer or the profits are reduced. It could even produce stagnant growth were cost of transport gobbles up any extra income individuals may earn. Transportation is the backbone of everything to do with economy. If you notice at the moment there is a lot of noise between China and US over a few islands as big as postage stamps. But they are situated at the only waterway China has to export or import. US wants to control the waterway so it can choke off China if needed. China is working on a land route to avoid being blackmailed. Tehran, in the same has choke points and the trick is to reduce or eliminate those completely.
The main issue is that iranian cities and their likes are built only in consideration of the fact that "the people will drive to wherever they need to"
Its the need to drive that needs to be reduced
Its not a matter of tehran or amsterdam its more for every city

Take into consideration the many small satellite towns around tehran
All are grids
The streets are layed out first and then filled with residential areas
No major public transport system or office region that is accessible to the people is made
Hence for even the most basic things like schools and work people travel with their cars

With satellite towns like Hashtgerd, Islamshar or even Varamin, the plan was to connect them to Tehran via local rail system. That got postponed so the skeletal nationwide rail system could be continued when things started to bite. But the Hashtgerd extension is still live and should be done on the whole. I am not sure when the rest will get done. I know Ghalibarf took over local transport of the metropolitan area again a few months ago. It was taken off him under Ahmadinejad.
Overall I know things are not totally kosher but the basic planning was really sound. And to say there was no consideration for pollution or getting people to stop using cars etc is just not true. The idea of getting everyone to use less cars has always been one of the main aspects of town planning and Tehran is no exception. During the sanctions, the quality of gasoline available was not what it could be because to produce lead free gasoline, you need a catalyst to add during refining. This catalyst is copyrighted by Haliburton, now it's call something else, remember Dick Cheney used to run it. They would not licence it for Iran to produce the Gasoline it needed thinking it would get people annoyed etc etc. it is not the only product though there are a number of very common products that are still only manufactured under licence even in UK. So Tehran suffered and no side said anything loud because they would lose politically. The way technology is restricted is not very obvious but once you go into it, it's really really unfair and reminiscent of colonial rules unfortunately. It will get worse with the new free-trade agreements if countries get fooled into signing it. It basically means corporations can sue national governments if governments introduce laws for safety or labour welfare for loss of profits in the future. Cigarette companies are suing NZ right now because NZ has introduced restrictions on smoking after it signed. Even though it's the health of the citizens, profits are given priority. That is what we should be looking at how to avoid because, if Iran signs, we are f**ked loyally.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,924 Posts
Again i agree with the basis of your statement

But the matter is not only tehran
Iranian cities have adopted dense sprawl as a means of mass housing and allocation of populations

I am not suggesting to artificially reduce traffic , but eliminate the need of a car by choice
Meaning cars would be a second thought for most daily commutes


For example :

There are school kids who have their parents drop them off 5 km on the other side of town because of the inbalance of the school quality

Due to the lack of large public centers in places like tehran pars or eslam shahr , any form of public activity would require to travel an extra distance across the city via car

The populaltion density and resource allocations are not on par. The level of diffusion of population is not remotely the same as the difussion of public areas

Take sahand town in tabriz for example
Its a satellite town with nearly no independance
No vision for pedestrian activity

The whole northern third of esfahan has no shopping area , no local office cluster etc
So everyday everyone has to drag their cars or repeatedly to get to work in the center

The issue is vivildy seen to extremes in towns like parand

In germany or england , each small satellite town or neighborhood of a larger city has a small city center within itself which is linked to the larger network of the city
Local stores , restaurants , clinics schools etc, most of which are easily accessible by a short travel either by foot or car or public transport
The size of the roads , buildings and distances and atmosphere allows for pedestrian activity and human scaled interactions
But if you live in a place like shahin shahr in esfahan or even on the edge of navvab in tehran , the closest urban center is literally the grand bazar or something that is not in the daily path of locals


Its the lack of independance which in my view is the primary cause of many of the unnecessary travelling in iranian cities

Then to accomodate these huge numbers of car riders , they build their four layered highways and etc across the city center regardless of anything , further pushing automobile dependancy

Reminds me of alot of the projects in the midlands after ww2 when the cities were built more on an industrial scale




But for now , a sudden shift cant take place

In order to reverse the method that is in place now a gradual shift and diffusion must be made so the transition is smoooth and economically viable

Tehran overall is moving to the right direction
The emergance of many office and shopping centers in newer areas is helping
But it will take time


Niavaran for example can eventually have its own city center with all the things central tehran has

Tehranpars also , navvab and darros and so on

But the main problem is with other cities like tabriz which seem to have absolutely no plan what so ever

Another example is sadra (a new town north of shiraz)
Its bottom half is a large garden city
The northern half is literally multiple horizontal rows of square apartments and across it runs a highway

There is no core no place for leisure no place to be the "centra" or axis of the city to create a ringed effect
There are no offices or anything
Not interactions , its purely based on driving from location A to B and thats it
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,263 Posts
Again i agree with the basis of your statement

But the matter is not only tehran
Iranian cities have adopted dense sprawl as a means of mass housing and allocation of populations

Its not really a dense sprawl. I am not familiar with every city but the big ones are actually very different in every case.
But before that there is the underlying issue that you have to bear in mind. Urbanisation is totally unavoidable. The way technology works, jobs get concentrated more and more in or close to big cities. Iran has urbanised quite rapidly also because traditional jobs in the villages can not sustain families any longer, cheaper mass produced products always win. Initially any way. So the only way you can avoid chaos is by exerting some level of control on the process. I don't mean build them houses in the cities and hope for the best but by creating satellite towns and introducing tax incentives or even grants, you can try reduce the pressure on the main cities and still satisfy their expectation as services catch up with the increases in demand. No country is that rich to be able to leapfrog the process that has taken most western countries a good 200 years in a couple of decades. Even if the money was there, it would be stupid to spend such sums so quickly. You end up with even more corruption and near certain hyper-inflation. Money supply needs to be controlled quite strictly during rapid growth which would be really painful for the public.

You forget how much needs doing in Iran. It is beyond anything you might imagine. What has essentially taken Europe 2 centuries of investment to build cannot be replicated in Iran over 2 decades. It will get done much much faster though if its done by private hands. The role of government should be to provide incentives for private individuals to carry out the works. State-planning only works with the lightest of touches, not by strict rules and regulations as far as the economy is concerned. With building regulations etc timing is everything as to whether they get broadly accepted by the public as good and hence worth sticking to.

In Iran this process has never had a chance to mature. Literally after barely a couple of years of the systems getting into gear, there is a revolution, there is a war, Ahmadinejad happens or sanctions break up any attempt and hand over the whole b*gg*ring lot to the guards. Now if you listen to the Iranian officials, Iran can do anything and has enough money to do it all in record time. That's all hot air. I think they have managed far far more than ever thought possible. If you listen to what Obama and Kerry say, they admit time and again their experts told them Iran would not be able to do x or y, but they did. From the very mundane like refining natural gas to useful products, to producing gasoline without a catalyst to nano tech etc. But the idea that a government has enough resources to improve the roads, town amenities, housing, railways, airports, schools, power, while on top of it all, do such a brilliant job with censorship too, is just not plausible.

But jokes a side, if they had had a more open relationship with the public, forget the religious aspect, the situation would have been far better in many ways. Not sure how that would have panned out security wise though because honestly I am at a loss how Iran managed to keep it all together with all the chaos every where you look.

One fundamental though, I think most people still believe governments are there to serve the people. It might be so for the first few months. Then all the various interests pile in, including their own. No government should ever be trusted to do everything right. Only when there is sufficient public awareness and involvement that things get done at the best of times. Its worse outside Tehran. Most other cities still think of their own powers and how to guard against central government looking at them too closely, or whether some other city gets a bigger budget etc etc. Just doing a good job for the city is not really relevant in politics.

What I am saying is this is a process every society has to go through. It will all backfire if its forced or cut short. Public education is THE most important factor. By just telling the public why or how, you will never convince enough people. I am not saying demand less of the authorities but rather ask for something that can be done and more importantly, if it can be done without making half the population feel resentful. Its not an exact science but the consequences, if its not judged well, can be catastrophic. Again remember 79 was exactly the same. Rather than doing something to bring about permanent change, one lot got replaced by another lot. I did a degree in PPE so I can go into a lot of detail; not exciting in the least.

I am not suggesting to artificially reduce traffic , but eliminate the need of a car by choice
Meaning cars would be a second thought for most daily commutes


For example :

There are school kids who have their parents drop them off 5 km on the other side of town because of the inbalance of the school quality

That Sorouch is one of the biggest problems in every single developed or semi developed city. In London, the number of hours spent on school 'planning' is equal to all the rest put together. Because parents do get agitated and always see their child not getting the right education. Eventually UK introduced a law to restrict how far away you could send your kid. Its slightly relaxed now but every year just before exams, its all about how terrible schools are in England. Its ten times worst in US.

It is impossible to quality control schools effectively. I am not that familiar with the system in Iran though so this is just what I know about UK.

Even so, even with the most superb metro system. most would still use the car UNLESS the traffic was gridlocked and the alternative, ie metro was the only way. That is what I mean by the process to public has to go through as well. Metro systems are late by a couple of decades but there is no other alternative in a semi developed city like Tehran that was growing so rapidly too.

Due to the lack of large public centers in places like tehran pars or eslam shahr , any form of public activity would require to travel an extra distance across the city via car

Actually that has always been a point of disagreement with planners in Tehran. Because of the weather basically to maintain any sort of park is costly but also fairly difficult. Municipalities can look after big parks or leisure centres but local community centres are not as easy as all that in Iran. First of all their usage patterns are very different to the west and people are really not accustomed to looking after them properly. The smaller towns can't charge for their use either. You do the maths, its not viable other than for example in Parand, one public park and a couple of playgrounds with a little greenery. It was meant to be taken up by the residents as a way of communal gardens but no one really kept it up once the government changed. I don't think anyone realises how bad the old government was at management. All the plans and studies done under Khatami were just shelved for 8 years basically. And the money?? The guy apparently thinks he can become president again I think. I could personally thump him and not feel too guilty.

The populaltion density and resource allocations are not on par. The level of diffusion of population is not remotely the same as the difussion of public areas

You are over-planning here. Market forces also apply to how cities grow. Populations are never allocated top down in a fairly strident society like Iran's. It will be goodbye KHom and KHam and hello whatever in no time at all!!

If the way Khatami's administration had worked it out, ie incentivising local populations to take on provision and maintenance of local parks etc outside the bigger towns and cities, their often different needs would have been met and Parand would have been a much nicer place to live, I would have said. I am not sure whether similar schemes are being put forward again now but I am 100% certain Rouhani would be itching to do so. He had a big hand getting them in place initially anyway. From what I can gather, he is very experienced behind the scenes, and I think even his wife has been working with advisory NGOs or something similar. I am not quite sure though but with him I know he is even seen by the 2004 EU negotiators from way back as diligent and very capable.

Take sahand town in tabriz for example
Its a satellite town with nearly no independance
No vision for pedestrian activity

I don't know Sahand myself but one thing about Tabriz, I am really really disappointed by the way the authorities are managing the city any way. I am part Azeri so I feel I can criticise them more. They are so obsessed with what they control and how it is phrased by the central government that all thought of what is best for the public is just barely there. I know Azeris in general make life 10x more difficult by forever eyeing what other cities are getting and all that rubbish, they blame everything on not getting a big enough budget. (Not true so far as I know but not impossible. I have not seen any figures either way.) Honestly, they had so much going for them but ever since the local government got more spending powers, it has been the least successful of all the top 6 cities. I think this year the census will show it has barely grown and Shiraz will probably overtake them soon. The number of council meetings about the same subject is becoming legendary apparently.

The whole northern third of esfahan has no shopping area , no local office cluster etc
So everyday everyone has to drag their cars or repeatedly to get to work in the center

But Soroush, this is not really possible. Market forces just dictate that some go-getter would have jumped in with a mall or at least a few general stores. What is the problem, is it some local laws or regulations? I cant think what could stop shops from opening. Local Government should not have to open shops for the community surely? How long has this been going on?

The issue is vivildy seen to extremes in towns like parand

In germany or england , each small satellite town or neighborhood of a larger city has a small city center within itself which is linked to the larger network of the city
Local stores , restaurants , clinics schools etc, most of which are easily accessible by a short travel either by foot or car or public transport
The size of the roads , buildings and distances and atmosphere allows for pedestrian activity and human scaled interactions
But if you live in a place like shahin shahr in esfahan or even on the edge of navvab in tehran , the closest urban center is literally the grand bazar or something that is not in the daily path of locals

Again this has be market driven. I know for a fact for Parand anyway, a centre was included in the plans that even had a mini lake and sports centre/ mall. Was that never built? The idea was to get it built by the private sector against a 15 year tax break. I know there was a lot of difficulty getting businesses like restaurants etc to commit. I lost touch with the guy who was working on the project after Ahmadinejad came in so I am not sure what got built and by whom.

Its the lack of independence which in my view is the primary cause of many of the unnecessary travelling in iranian cities

I don't know what you mean by lack of independence here. You mean having all the amenities locally? If yes, then believe me it wasn't the planning. You really underestimate how the uncertainty with the ongoing sanctions and threat of bombing on that fabulous table messed up the whole idea of planning. It wasn't even all to do with incompetence either. Once there is so much uncertainty, planning is the least of the worries.

Then to accomodate these huge numbers of car riders , they build their four layered highways and etc across the city center regardless of anything , further pushing automobile dependancy

There was no time or the right technology to build the metro any faster. Trams are impossible in Iran. What is the alternative? I know I keep saying the same thing. But it is not going to change because there is no other way to keep things moving in the short run. Tunneling is really costly and time consuming. Iran is not a regimented, strict society with a planned economy Soviet style, how would you get people to behave the way you suggest or build better alternatives fast enough without causing hyper-inflation even if the money was there. I don't know how else I can explain. I hope it makes sense or it might be me that has got it all wrong. I am not sure anymore! LOL

Reminds me of alot of the projects in the midlands after ww2 when the cities were built more on an industrial scale




But for now , a sudden shift cant take place

In order to reverse the method that is in place now a gradual shift and diffusion must be made so the transition is smoooth and economically viable

Tehran overall is moving to the right direction
The emergance of many office and shopping centers in newer areas is helping
But it will take time

My god you do get it!!! My point precisely. TIME is the only thing lacking right now. Well more or less. I wish I had read the whole thing before starting to answer!!
Niavaran for example can eventually have its own city center with all the things central tehran has

Tehranpars also , navvab and darros and so on

But the main problem is with other cities like tabriz which seem to have absolutely no plan what so ever

Another example is sadra (a new town north of shiraz)
Its bottom half is a large garden city
The northern half is literally multiple horizontal rows of square apartments and across it runs a highway

There is no core no place for leisure no place to be the "centra" or axis of the city to create a ringed effect
There are no offices or anything
Not interactions , its purely based on driving from location A to B and thats it

Basically yes the problem has been the way the careful planning was just left to rot. Ghalibaf was able to continue parts of it where he was left to do the job, the rest was taken off him. I think he was considered a rival by Ahmadinejad anyway.

Other cities, only Tabriz, Mashhad and Shiraz I know much about. Mashhad is not a worry at all. The local management is really quite efficient and its really wealthy. Shiraz has been the most dynamic and inventive in its planning. So far the execution had also been quite well done. Esfahan I think stated really badly with the idea that they would do whatever they wanted. Got a few things really wrong and got clobbered. I think the council is actually starting to work quite well at last. But I cant be more exact, I really don't have any contacts there I could ask. Its Shiraz all the way for me!!

Tabriz, that lovely city is being run by a bunch of amateurs. Sorry nothing they do apart from the very basics makes that much sense to me. Even the handling of the new Azerbaijan Meydan is just so devoid of vision, I have just about given up on the lot of them.
 
41 - 49 of 49 Posts
Top