Analysis of the Concept of Colonial Urbanization in Iran Case study: Abadan during Britain Oil Colonialism

Document Type : Research Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Development, Imam Khomeini International University of Qazvin, Iran.

2 Lecturer, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Civil and Architecture Engineering, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Candidate in Landscape Architecture, School of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: The oil discovery and presence of Britain under the banner of Anglo-Persian Oil Company in the processes of oil exploration and extraction in the South of Iran, especially Khuzestan, creates a colonial experience in this region. This issue has created a pattern of colonial urbanization in Iran and brought changes in economic, political, and social aspects, which can be emerged in Abadan as the center for British Petroleum Colonialism activities.
Research objective: The present study is aimed at investigating the effects of colonial attitudes on the urban structures of Abadan as an example of colonial urbanization in Iran’s geographical platform.
Research method: This study is qualitative, and attempts to answer the research questions using the interpretive-historical method. The data collection method in this study was bibliographic through which written references like books, articles, and visual sources like historical images, and urbanization maps were examined and analyzed. Also, the authors used their living experience in Abadan on the other hand.
Conclusion: Using urban zoning principles, greenbelt in the frame of city garden principles, ordered urban blocking, and using urban squares as urban joints have been the most important measures of colonial urbanization in Abadan taken to enhance the control and supervision level on different urban sections. Also, this study showed that Abadan colonial city can be interpreted as a panoptic city on one hand, and a dual city in terms of physical, social, economic, and infrastructural aspects on the other hand.


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