Pushing Tehran across a Threshold: Applying the Social-ecological Resilience Approach to a Vulnerable City

By Adnan Habibipourzare.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

According to official statistics, there are about fourteen thousand hectares of unstable buildings—very vulnerable against earthquakes—in Tehran, and out of the whole population of Tehran (approximately 8 million people), 2.9 million settle in these areas. This study conceptualizes Tehran as a social ecological system and argues that cross scale interactions between changes in slow variables and threshold can lead to a regime shift in the system. Reviewing the events and policies in the last century at city and national scale, it explains how interlinked change drivers of centralization of national capital in Tehran, spatial policies, social and economic inequalities, the 1979 revolution, the Iran-Iraq war, and neoliberal development policies after the war have firstly led to vast urban expansion and the formation of worn out urban areas in Tehran, and secondly, have deprived this city from ecosystem services. It also argues that the resilience of Tehran’s social-ecological system has been weakened and it has approached a threshold.

Keywords: Social-ecological Resilience, Cross-scale Interaction, Sustainable Urban Development, Human Environments and Ecosystemic Effects, Tehran

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 6, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.75-87. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.406MB).

Adnan Habibipourzare

Master's Degree, International Material Flow Management, Trier University of Applied Sciences, Environmental Campus, Birkenfeld, Germany