Heritage management and urban development in Iran, case study of Shiraz

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Purpose: Large-scale interventions are still the dominant approach in dealing with historic cities in Iran; however, during the last decade there has been a shift towards integrated and decentralised policies and a series of locally based projects were initiated across the country. Political and ideological forces, population growth as well as cultural and heritage consensus are influencing approaches towards urban conservation and heritage management constantly. This paper opens up the urban intervention approaches in the historic core of Shiraz and provides a deeper insight and better understanding of heritage management and regeneration plans in Shiraz as a representative of historic Iranian cities. Design/methodology/approach: The study explains and analyses major urban transformations in Shiraz. The main approaches towards historical city core are identified and the mechanism that shaped these approaches in national and local scale is discussed. This investigation primarily uses qualitative data sources. The study relies on multiple sources of evidence which result in the reliability and validity of the investigation. Therefore, primary sources include original documents, maps and photographs published in documentation for the projects, published and unpublished materials and archives about case study city and secondary sources such as interviews with consultants and authorities as well as residents have been used. Findings: This paper provides a more detailed explanation about several interrelated factors that affected the process of decision and policy making, planning and implementation of city centre interventions during the last two decades. Originality/value: This paper anticipates consequent trends in heritage management in Shiraz and recommends further research areas. The paper can be used to develop a more practical set of recommendations for urban heritage management in Iran.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)343-357
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Development
  • Heritage management
  • Historic core of Shiraz
  • Integrated approach
  • Modernisation
  • Transformation

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