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‘Post-oil’ Era Requires Change in Environmental Thinking and Attitude

  2021 February 09 Tuesday:

Pirouz Hanachi, Mayor of Tehran, partook in the closing event of the 56th ISOCARP World Planning Congress, which took place online on 4 February 2021 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The 45’ Place-Leaders Roundtable Session on 4 February 2021 covered two main themes that will reflect on innovative planning and development practices: 1) the “post-oil city” paradigm and 2) the concept of new urban green deals.

The Mayor of Tehran stressed the need for planning and cooperation of all cities and metropolises of the world to protect the environment, optimal and reasonable use of fuel resources, as well as efforts to prevent air pollution and said:” With no doubt, the 20th century was the century of fossil fuels and cars. The legacy of this era is still clearly visible in oil-dominated cities and in planning policies. The effects of these policies are not limited to spatial-physical quality, and the negative effects of excessive use of fossil fuels in everyday urban life are significant.”

The Mayor of Tehran believes that action for urban planning and management in the post-oil period requires a serious and fundamental change in attitudes towards the environment and civic life. “Planning for cities in the ‘post-oil’ era requires a change in environmental thinking and attitude, nature-friendly planning and optimization of construction style and formulating new standards to deal with climatic change. In the meantime, urban planners and managers should examine inflexible structures, climatic change, limited nature of fossil fuels, global financial and systemic crises in ‘post-oil cities’ and monitor not only the fabric of the city but also the trend of social change along with environmental change and take steps on the path of sustainable development by changing management policies.”, he added.

Regarding the measures that have been taken so far in this regard in Tehran and expert planning for future measures in the urban management of Tehran, he said:” Tehran, under the theme of ‘a city for everyone’, like many other cities, is developing new approaches in the area of urban planning in order to take positive steps to implement the 2030 sustainable development goals and provide a greener future by changing urban policies.

These new plans and strategies include plans to reshape the physical structure of the city, including intelligently segregating land uses and increasingly utilizing mixed and multi-purpose land uses, reviewing the urban transportation system and network based on cycling and walking and green public transportation, making the urban structure greener by using green and sustainable architecture and involving people by creating economic incentives in finding urban design solutions to improve the health and quality of the urban environment. In these proposed policies, there is a new perspective on the nature of economic development and urban incomes, and an attempt has been made to plan and analyze the needs and expectations of local communities through the development of a neighborhood economy.”

To summarize his speech, the Mayor of Tehran said: “In brief, there are many challenges in today’s urban society of Tehran and the world to get rid of reliance on oil, the most important of which are lack of recognition of appropriate alternatives, lack of international investment (as a result of oppressive sanctions), lack of global experience, prevalence of pollutions caused by industrial, traffic and urban activities. Moving towards the use of clean, safe and renewable energy is one way to meet these challenges.”

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