District 16, Assembly of Old and Famous Neighborhoods
District 16 of Tehran Municipality is one of the southern districts in the capital city which is located adjacent to the old “Khazaneh” neighborhood. The district has a span of slightly more than 67 square kilometers and has provided habitation to close to 335 thousand people. But given that only 2% of the total area of Tehran has been allocated to this district, it is among small areas of the capital city. However, the district is considered one of the key areas as a large portion of economic and trade transportation is conducted in this district due to the routes leading to the big and small bazaars and therefore the district is always disorderly and full of traffic!
The small but important District 16 is located in the neighborhood of Shoush and Mowlavi streets, a district which is limited to Shoush and Anbar-e Naft streets in the north, to the margins of Azadegan Highway in the south, to Fadaeiyan-e Eslam in the east and finally to Bahmanyar Street and Shahid Tondguyan in the west.
It is interesting to note that despite being located in the time-worn fabric of the capital city, District 16 has a suitable per capita green area which is said to be 32 hectares. If Bethat Park which is one of the largest parks in Tehran is added to it, District 16 could be considered one of the greenest areas in Tehran.
In recent years urban managers have taken optimum measures to add to the green space of the district. Although District 16 is a small region, it has over 70 mosques which indicates the religious atmosphere prevailing over the area, especially during religious mourning seasons, Ashura and Tasua in particular. Rajaei Street is one of the main streets in the district wherein religious sentiments of the inhabitants are demonstrated on religious occasions.
Political, Social Characteristics
District 16 has six areas and many important and famous neighborhoods; neighborhoods which have played significant roles in the history of Tehran. The most important of these neighborhoods are Nazi Abad, Javadiyeh, Khazaneh, Bagh-e Azari, Koshtargah, Takhti, Yakhchi Abad and Ali Abad. Nazi Abad which used to be named Madaen in old times is among the oldest regions in Tehran which has been constructed on the basis of urban designs and has over 70 small squares.
Bazaar Aval and Bazaar Dovom in Nazi Abad date back to at least 100 years ago and are among the main marketplaces of Tehran. Since the second half of 1990s thanks to the efforts of the urban management to remove the locality of Koshtargah (slaughterhouse) and improvement and reconstruction of areas around Bahman Square, this district was reborn and grew tremendously.
Bahman Culture Center which is one of the largest cultural areas in Tehran was made available to the public at the same time. According to statistics, it has increased life expectancy in the district. The main building in the district is the railway complex, an establishment which has allocated a main part of the space of the region to itself and plays an important role in accommodating passengers. Buildings of the complex are valuable in terms of history as Karim Taherzadeh Behzad, one of the renowned architects at the First Pahlavi Era, completed its design. Another important building in the district is South Tehran Terminal which dates back to 50 years ago and is considered the beating heart of the capital in terms of intercity transportation.
Office buildings of the railways which are located along with the building of the Judiciary which is situated in the neighborhood of the South Terminal on the one hand and the terminal itself on the other hand has made the district as important as other parts of the city in political terms. In brief, the position of several hospitals and factories within the district neighborhoods not only provide medical services to local residents but to those coming from other districts.
Cultural and Historical Characteristics
Along with Yeksad Dastgah residential quarter in east of Tehran, southern part of the capital has a famous residential quarter known as Hezar Dastgah which was built by the Germans in Nazi Abad during World War II and dates back to at least 100 years ago.
A bit farther, the history of District16 is marked by Nazi Abad and Javadiyeh bazaars. These are marketplaces which despite the passage of one century are still brisk and considered the life vein of business in the district.
Khazaneh too has a famous stone market which is interesting to be visited along with its docks, historical business offices and cargo cooperatives. The tomb of Sar Agha is among the oldest buildings in the district which is not currently open to inspection due to some repair works. The mausoleum remains from Nasereddin Shah era and is the burial place of Agha Seyyed Abolqassem, a Friday prayer leader of Tehran.