A Study of Iranian New Towns During Pre–and Post Revolution


Department of Geography, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The present paper studies the objectives and functions of constructing the new towns before and after the revolution in Iran. Before the revolution, new towns were established based on political – bureaucratic objectives, for the operation of huge oil resources and affiliated industries, to accommodate the workforce in industrial complexes, to implement the policy of regional decentralization, to provide housing for the government employees, to attract the surplus population of large cities and to reconstruct the cities destroyed by earthquake. A type of economic and social development strategy was involved in establishing new towns. Although these towns function differently, they are mainly well-populated and active towns. After the revolution, fewer towns were planned. One of the strategies of urban development was to absorb part of the population of the overpopulated cities to provide housing to low-income groups, to accommodate employees of industrial sectors, and to decentralize anatomic and industrial sectors of large cities. Except the new town of Baharestan, which has achieved the 10-year objectives behind its construction for population and housing purposes, other towns which have merely succeeded to attract less population as they were planned, the new town have generally failed to achieve the 10-year envisaged goals and have converted into housing warehouses. At present these 17 new towns has been able to attract only 320548 persons while the three new towns of Ramin, Ramshahr, Tis, have not yet been successful to attract population.