Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Ethical Sustainability in Iranian New Towns: Case Study of Shushtar New Town

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Ethical Sustainability in Iranian New Towns: Case Study of Shushtar New Town

Article excerpt


Shushtar is ancient city in Khuzestan Province at south west of Iran and is considered as a world heritage. In the early 70's, Shushtar New Town was decided to be constructed in order to answer the residential needs on new employers of Karun Agro-Industries Corporation. The project was located across the river from the old city and Kamran Diba, an Iranian well-known architect, designed this New Town for 30,000 residents. Shushtar New Town was designed in relevant with the cultural values of Iranian civilization to maintain the continuity with its regional historical background. Architect's high attention on the traditional, cultural, social and historical aspect of the project helped it to be introduced as the distinguish design of 20th century. Yet, how was ethical sustainability emanated in the master plan of Shushtar New Town? This research aims to examine sustainability in the design priorities and current condition of Shushtar New Town, on the basis of ethical sustainability as the most integrated and comprehensive current approach of sustainable development. To reach the aim of the research, history of new towns in Iran and Shushtar New Town are described, indicators of ethical sustainability are reviewed through relevant literature in the next step and then, the design priorities and current condition of Shushtar New Town are examined on the basis of ethical sustainability. In conclusion, suggestions are presented to re-emanate ethical sustainability in Shushtar New Town, and new developments are recommended in relate with design's main and mostly neglected objectives.

Keywords: ethical sustainability, sustainable relations, design priorities, Shushtar new town, Iran new towns

1. Introduction

Modern urbanization in Iran started from early 20s (Athari, 1991). It was after the governmental land reformation actions which the cities faced major population growth because of factors like improving health services, higher quality of living and more job opportunities. The mentioned factors were all in relate with the sudden increase in the international price of oil, followed by the higher income of the whole country which was unwisely restricted to flow only in the metropolises. The peak point of this immigration was during 1978 and 1979 when about 47% of the population growth of cities was due to immigration of villagers (Arjmand Nia, 1990). The population of Iranian Cities, and mainly the metropolises, were therefore doubled in less than two decades. As a result, the originality, identity and the quality of life of new citizens and their generation was facing true crises. The solution of Iran Urbanization and Housing Ministry to overcome this problem was designing and constructing new towns in the suburb areas of metropolises.

New town or satellite city is a planned city which is usually located nearby a metropolis and accommodates the immigrants from other parts of the country who want to work in the metropolis. New towns are usually considered as a solution for over populated metropolises. In Iran, formation of new towns started at late 70s, yet, was taken under serious consideration at mid80s. Today, by having an experience of more than two decades, accurate analyses of these new towns and their impacts on the priorities of sustainable development is needed. The positive and negative points of this accountable action has to be over viewed in order to fulfil the shortcomings of new towns and to face an uprising living quality of the poor population. Accepting the ethical approach of sustainability as the most comprehensive approach described in today's literature (Becker, 2012), examining these new towns based on the values of ethical sustainability could present a clear view of sustainability realization in Iran's new town design.

1.1 Different Types of New Towns in Iran

There have been three types of new towns in Iran. New hostel cities are the first type which offer housing to the overflow population of metropolises. …

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