Khorramabad, Iran

Khorramabad is a city marked by majestic cultural heritage. Its physical structure is strongly influenced by the natural elements including mountains and rivers. The historical core is the tall citadel called Falak-ol-Aflak (The Heaven of Heavens). The administrative-commercial centres are located on the northern part and residential districts formed along the Khorram and Kargan Rivers (with more than 100 historical bridges). Kiu Lake is situated in Kiu Park and green areas surround this recreational district in the northern part of the City.

Uncontrolled urbanisation has led to severe problems, however, with deprived and undeveloped areas located mainly in the centre and to the south of the city. Lack of accessibility, mobility (traffic nodes), and concentration of resources to the northern part has led to friction and lack of trust among citizens in the south, where many residents suffer from a sense of discrimination. As a result, the structure of the city as it stands is inherently polarized. At present, there is no comprehensive plan for amending the land use pattern, and minimal attention is paid to the natural and historical endowments. Some NGOs try to be active but lack the power that would be required in order to exert any palpable influence.

Through URBiNAT, the plan is to build on the experience of Khorramabad to create new awareness, in ways that are effective in communicating to urban planners around the country, and also so as to engage various relevant key stakeholders in how to devise and anchor a strategy for overcoming the fundamental issues that tend to divide and hamper the development of many cities. This includes practically useful insight how to introduce NBS, although already a cornerstone of Khorramabad’s legacy and existing city fabric, through inclusive practises.