European Urban Studies (IPP-EU)

Urbanism and Dictatorship A Study on Urban Planning in Contemporary History of Iran (Second Pahlavi, 1941-1979)

Leila Javanmardi

This work investigates Iranian urbanism by considering development plans and the process of modernization in the dictatorial reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941 -1979) when Iran was faced with a milestone in its history:” Nationalization of the Iranian oil industry in 1951”. 

Since the 1970 urban spaces have become the focus of attention for numerous social theorists. An initial review of the available literature shows from the wider body of existing literature on urban issues, researches on social and political dimensions of urban spaces have expanded greatly in recent years. Despite these increased attentions among the researches, most of the studies about Iran have focused on evolution of urbanism during different periods, regardless of its connection to economy, society, power and politics. Also those have paid attention to these connections, have mostly investigated architecture and architectural styles rather than Urbanism and Urban planning projects.

Since the role of dictators and the connection between different features in production of urban space have been largely neglected, by focusing on Iran during the dictatorship period, the present study aims to contribute to bridging the research gap created by the lack of comprehensive research on the subject.