LED 2016 Group A Landscape Democracy Challenge 2

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Transformation of a city part in Mashhad, Iran

Place name add name
Location Mashhad
Country Iran
Author(s) Hani Gholami

Rationale: Why have you chosen this case for the landscape and democracy seminar?

The challenge concentrates on a part of Mashhad in Iran. Throughout the time, this area has changed a lot. It has transformed from a natural suburb with pleasing open spaces, to a dense rural artificial zone. Previously, it provided people with engaging sceneries, open spaces and greenery. Locals were used to do picknicing, relaxing and enjoy it with family. Nowadays, it does nothing similar, but some small park, so called breathing points, because it has been transformed to a high dense built area. To this day, the decisions mostly have been made by the municipality and locals did not have any direct participation. In fact there was not so much possibility to cooperate for them. Plus it seems they were also not that much aware of the influences of upcoming changes during the time. Now the locals are aware and they are demanding participation and influencing the decisions. They desire not only stopping this sort of new constructions, but also providing more open spaces by pushing back some constructions in the area. The locals in this case are trying to be a part of decision making and not just leave it to municipality. It means there is a big gap between the infrastructure and people. This gap should be solved by new ideas for local participation and taking individuals interest out of the decision making. I find this demand for change from locals in sense of revivals of the values similar to my case.

Representation of your observations

  • you are basically free to use one or a mix of different presentation techniques
  • possibilities are: analytical drawings, graphical representations, collages, video clips, comic/graphic novel, written essay/visual essay
  • please add any visual material to the gallery, videos can be placed below, you may add text as you like


The major challenges seem to be remodelling the usual one sided planning to uncommon participatory planning, what the locals desire to happen. The challenge is to convience the the infrastructure and administrations to open the doors for public participation.

What could be a starting point for democractically-based change?

The planners must hold some events to sit with the locals and have open dicussions. The disuccions are supposed to summarize with collecting the local's goals, points of views, interests and needs. Then they together should develop one or some small size landscape designs in the area and develop the design together during some workshops. The goal is to approach a design based on the locals ideas and professionals lead. The design(s) will be projected and constructed on sites. It will be a sample of cooperation and locals contribution to landscape projects. The experience should be summarized and be presented in a public event to inform everybody about the achievements of the cooperations. Then the achievements should be transformed to a guideline policty to be used in planning for further plannings in the area.


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  • Please make sure that you give proper references of all external resources used.
  • Do not use any images of which you do not hold the copyright.
  • Please add internet links to other resources if necessary.

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