Evaluation of Urban Landscape in Urban Development Plans A Comparative Study on Evolution of Tehran Comprehensive Plans with International Experiences

Document Type : Research Article



There are different approaches to the concept of urban landscape. Some of these approaches at times diminish the significance of urban landscape to beautification and decoration of environment. However, others take urban landscape as equal to every interaction between humans and the urban environment which gives them their distinctive personality. Either of these assumptions could bring about different consequences for urban landscape planning and management. What is of considerable important is that, in a generic classification, how we can categorize urban development plans according to their approaches to planning and management of urban landscape.
This paper tries to seek evidence for or against the following hypotheses. First, at the beginning, early urban development plans constrained the concept of urban landscape to physical aspect of city. However, in recent urban development plans, this concept expanded to an identification factor of cities. Second, it seems that although (according to international experiences) recent documents of urban development plans establish practical solutions for implementation of their conception of urban landscape, Tehran development plan documents have failed to achieve the same success.
This paper studies recent international experiences and documents of Tehran development plans. For this reason, two different plans are scrutinized: the Jeddah Strategic Plan (as a case study of developing countries similar to Tehran, with similar cultural, social and economic background) and the London Plan (as a case study of developed countries and a pioneer in the field of urban planning and management). Then, the design process of Tehran comprehensive plans is analyzed (three comprehensive plans prepared by Farman Farmaian, ATEC and Boom-Sazegan consultants respectively). The research method is content analysis which is used for studying the content of official texts.
Findings of this study shows that the concept of urban landscape in urban development plans has expanded and enhanced over time. The same pattern is also seen in the experiences of developed countries. Furthermore, in developing countries there has been a changing trend towards urban landscape which takes it as an identification factor in urban development plan documents. Despite this recent international trend and general tendency, Tehran urban development plans have failed to achieve their goals and commitments in the field of (their ideas and conception of) urban landscape. However, supplementary planning guidance such as “London View Management Framework” is a good example of systematic solution for urban landscape planning and management by official urban procedures.
The London View Management Framework is a supplementary planning guidance to preserve London's character and build heritage. It explains the policy framework for managing the impact of development on London landscape. This framework and its methods could be seen as a functional approach in the field of urban landscape which could be adopted for recent Tehran comprehensive plan by Tehran planners and managers.