[I] Off-the-ground analysis

3. Bavand consulting engineers’ vision for Imamzadeh-Yahya

Although these interventions never took place due to a lack of investment and the change in city policies following the change of presidential power, many aspects of these proposals have been questioned. Proposing a touristic route in the historic core has advantages as well as disadvantages: On one hand, the route proposes a car-free path in the historic core that not only respects the deteriorated infrastructure of an old neighborhood but also makes the entire historic core accessible with one path. On the other hand, by imposing a touristic route and its entrance gates, a lot of other local’s needs such as public amenities, public spaces, and affordable housing are ignored. These proposals also fail to consider the impact of bikes in the historic core of Tehran. My reflection on Bavand consulting engineer’s social, demographic, economic, and spatial studies of the neighborhood sets out three important points:

  • Although the predominant population of the neighborhood consists of young people between 21 and 26, which contradicts popular belief about the historic core of capital cities like Tehran, still the share of motorcycles is more significant in comparison to bikes. However both relatively have low prices, are easy to move, and do not need a traffic license.

  • Certain places in the neighborhood embody the obsolete traditional lifestyle of the past that is not found in other neighborhoods of Tehran. On the other hand, the main cause of population decline in the neighborhood is the degradation of the level of housing causing a loss of economic value of the housing facilities in the neighborhood in addition to its lack of welfare services.

  • While the neighborhood’s closeness to Bazaar affected the main job groups in the Imamzadeh Yahya which are evaluated to be the bazaar workers and salespeople, most of the economic activities that take place on the neighborhood’s outskirt, as well as in the neighborhood markets, tend to be a backup space for Bazaar rather than services that contribute to the daily life of the inhabitants of the area itself.