Housing as Politics: The case of Tehran

A. Mehan, Mahziar Mehan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientificpeer-review


Iran, as a country that has never been colonized, underwent a rapid modernization process, which arose from its internal pressures. Starting from 1945, with the rise of globalism at the end of World War II, a new stage of modernization began in Iran which continued to grow and foster the culture of mass consumption. Globalization also led to the rise of different maternities in the housing sector. Focusing on Tehran, the dominant tendency to create a modern society based on nationalism and modernism values, led to the creation of a very new image of the city, at odds with its introverted urban form till early of the twentieth century. The majority of urban policies were based on the need to create a major change in public life and to revolutionize the socio-political aspects of Iranian society. This chapter has been divided into three chronological periods. The first section Planning the Metropolis aims to focus on the idea of Tehran as a modern capital back in the 1950s and late 1960s with a special focus on class segregation and housing politics. The second part of this chapter Housing as a Revolution has a special focus on the transformation of housing strategies in Iran after the 1978-79 Islamic revolution. The third part Post-Revolution focuses on the current policies for the housing sector and construction economy. As a result of the imposition of US sanctions on the Iranian economy after unilaterally abandoning the Iran nuclear deal, the country’s economy has been hit hard by Tehran’s inability to export oil. Inflation has also hit the housing sector. In general, this chapter aims to bring forward the idea of housing as politics in modern Tehran through a critical and historical perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpaces for living, Spaces for sharing
EditorsSimona Canepa
Place of PublicationSiracusa, Italy
ISBN (Print)8862424205, 9788862424202
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

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