Reconstructing the change, designing a toolbox of strategies
TU Berlin - Angela Million,  Vesta Nele Zareh
Master’s thesis 
WS/SS 2021/22

1. Development of Tehran’s historic core

Since the 1930s, the sudden growth of Tehran caused a break in the continuous process of physical and spatial change of the cities from the past and 50 years later from the entry of apartments into the cities of Iran. Following Tehran’s bipolar expansion the historic core of the city cannot follow up the fast transformations and as a result, convert into a
decayed texture that few people are willing to live in. The next chapter is dealing with the status quo and the challenges of the historic core of Tehran and a closer look at the Imamzadeh Yahya neighborhood that still has the highest proportion of the residential population, while the other neighborhoods surrounding the Bazaar developed into an extension of the bazaar.

2. Imamzadeh Yahya’s status quo & challenges

Imamzadeh Yahya is one of the five main neighborhoods located in the historic core of Tehran, while the other three districts surrounding Bazaar are functioning as a space back up to Bazaar, Imamzadeh Yahya serves the highest residential population. After the unbalanced expansion of Tehran, Imamzadeh Yahya faced challenges such as migration of its original population, impermeability and traffic problems, degradation of the social environment, and improper infrastructure that makes the neighborhood the less preferable area to live in. However, walking through the alleys of the neighborhood, we realize that Imamzadeh Yahya, unlike other neighborhoods in Tehran, still has the social capital of solidarity among  the residents. Additionally, its central location next to
the grand bazaar of Tehran and metro stations, opens up the research question: What are the potential future developments of Imamzadeh Yahya that consider residents’ relationship with their historic neighborhood? Complexities of the challenges in Imamzadeh Yahya need a broader range of actions that not only considers the spatial and social threats but also contribute to the cultural aspects of the neighborhood. Acknowledging the sociopolitical conditions of the context and the bureaucratic outcomes for the neighborhood up to here suggests the need for a method that allows a decision-making process with the involvement of the local citizens and this is the topic that the next chapter is digging deeper into.