Shushtar-e Nou & Persian Garden: Practising an Environmental Idea in Iran’s Mass Housing Development

Mo Sedighi

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientific


    Before the 20th century, in Iran, the concept of the Persian Garden symbolized a well-ordered landscape, considered as the source of inspiration for urban planning, urban design, and architectural practices. More than a space for leisure or agriculture, it was the only spatial configuration in which any form of life was possible. This ideals was changed when Iran underwent a process of modernisation, especially during the 1970s, when the sudden increase in oil revenues made high-speed urbanisation and modernisation possible. Accordingly, the Iranian government committed large-scale investment to the development of mass housing, by which modern neighbourhoods would be constructed. Furthermore, the government used this strategy to respond to the growing urban population. As a result, almost regardless of the Iranian culture and climate conditions, high-rise residential buildings became the dominant type of urban housing, and the new built forms were mainly designed and constructed based on the modernist principles known as the ‘International Style’. Among those new neighbourhoods, Shushtar-e Nou represents a distinct, peculiar and alternative urban form, trying to respond to the place-specific aspects of the context. By analysing Shushtar-e Nou urban form and development, this paper reveals typological elements, socio-cultural characteristics and environmental thoughts that integrated Shushtar-e Nou with the idea of the Persian Garden, local culture and climate conditions. Understanding the development of this model demonstrates how the Persian Garden can still be a source of inspiration for urban-environmental planning, urban-ecological design, and local-architectural practices.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationReinterpreting Cities: 13th international conference on urban history
    Number of pages22
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventReinterpreting Cities: 13th international conference on urban history - University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
    Duration: 24 Aug 201627 Aug 2016
    Conference number: 13th


    ConferenceReinterpreting Cities
    Abbreviated titleEAUH
    Internet address


    • Persian Garden
    • Localism
    • Shushtar-e Nou
    • Environmental planning
    • urban form
    • mass housing


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