Emerging Metropolis: Politics of planning in Tehran during cold war

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


The Second World War and its associated political events of a national and global
scale brought new circumstances, which was considerably influenced the
development processes of Tehran. During World War II, Iran hoped that
Washington would keep Britain and the Soviet Union from seizing control of the
country’s oil fields. In 1951 and 1952 Truman worked with Iranian Prime Minister, though unsuccessfully, to regain some of those lost oil rights for Iran. By the late 1950s and President Kennedy’s presidency, he used aid as leverage for social reform.
During the early years of 1960’s, the Kennedy Administration was urging its allies in the third world to carry out necessary reforms in order to prevent popular discontent and enhance dominant ideology of ‘modernism’. In 1968, a major piece of legislation, the Urban Development and Renewal Act, enabled the municipality to implement Tehran’s Comprehensive Plan (TCP 1968),
which integrated all the elements of a 1960s’ American city such as the separation of functions, highways, suburbs, shopping centers and housing area. The export of these American cities principles can only be understood from the background of the Cold War period, in which the east and west were both competing for cultural colonization of Middle Eastern strategically important cities like Tehran. During this period, the new developments supported by the oil boom of 1970s, were built in different forms to constitute an expanding metropolis. In 1974, the second “International Congress of Architecture” with the theme of “Toward a Quality of Life” held at Persepolis and brought together all leading world architects and planners to review Iran’s progress in
its professional response to the challenges posed by increasing oil revenues. This
research aims to represent the export of planning as a political means of cultural
colonization of Third World during the cold war period.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventCOLD WAR AT THE CROSSROADS: 194X-198X. Architecture and planning between politics and ideology - Milano, Italy
Duration: 13 Jun 201714 Jun 2021


ConferenceCOLD WAR AT THE CROSSROADS: 194X-198X. Architecture and planning between politics and ideology


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