Housing development and the smart city: A case study of Tehran, Iran

Martin Wynn, Seyedeh Zahra Hosseini, Seyed Mostafa Parpanchi

Article ID: 2070
Vol 7, Issue 2, 2023

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Iran has one of the oldest civilizations in the world, and many elements of today’s urban planning and design have their origins in the country. However, mass country-city migration from the 1960s onwards brought enormous challenges for the country’s main cities in the provision of adequate housing and associated services, resulting in a range of sub-standard housing solutions, particularly in Tehran, the capital city. At the same time, and notably in the past decade, Iran’s main cities have had significant involvement in the smart city movement. The Smart Tehran Program is currently underway, attempting to transition the capital towards a smart city by 2025. This study adopts a qualitative, inductive approach based on secondary sources and interview evidence to explore the current housing problems in Tehran and their relationship with the Smart Tehran Program. It explores how housing has evolved in Tehran and identifies key aspects of the current provision, and then assesses the main components of the Smart Tehran Program and their potential contribution to remedying the housing problems in the city. The article concludes that although housing related issues are at least being raised via the new smart city technology infrastructure, any meaningful change in housing provision is hampered by the over centralized and bureaucratic political system, an out of date planning process, lack of integration of planning and housing initiatives, and the limited scope for real citizen participation.


citizen participation; technology infrastructure; Smart Tehran Program; housing policy; urban planning

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.24294/jipd.v7i2.2070


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