Cultural regeneration in Tehran

I’m currently at the Creative Clusters 2007 conference in London.  I’ll post more fully about this when it is over (it finishes tomorrow), but one thing that come up today seemed particularly interesting and I thought I should share it.

 esfahan_shah_sq.jpg

 In a session on ‘developing creative spaces’, a question was asked: “What problems are there in using concepts like ‘creative cluster’ or ‘regeneration’, which have developed out of the European and North American context, in other regions or cultures?”.  The question was answered by M.A. Hossein-Nejad, from Tehran.  He has been working on a cultural masterplan for Tehran, a city that has experienced huge physical and socio-cultural change over the last thirty years.  His reply was that Iranian culture has has a historical grasp on the concept of creative clustering and mixed-use development, that comes from the way that ancient Iranian cities like Shiraz and Esfahanwere structured around public spaces constructed by the proximity of mosques, bazaars, public buildings and housing.  He described how these developments had been enable each ‘user of the cluster’ to support the other, thereby maximizing opportunity and producing a harmonious society. 

 I’m sure that the analogy has its limits but I find this idea intriguing and I plan to look in to this in more depth and hopefully to write it up on here at a later date.

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