Monday، 19 March 2018 | Score:
New Paradigm Shift Reflected in Train Stations
The recent initiatives of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development accomplished since 2013 indicate a radically different paradigm compared with the past in transport sector, its geopolitics as well as in urban development, as far as the macro-policy and the regulatory framework is concerned.
Mainly, the paradigms have been shifted toward 1) a multimodal transport (integrated and efficient) 2) a rail-oriented urban planning 3) a citizen-centered development and 4) developing and linking up domestic transport corridors with regional and international corridors. The basic aim of this transformation is to restore historical routes for trade and interactions; thereby stimulating development.
This shift occurs within the IranShahr discourse which draws on restoring Iranian identity based on ancient and Islamic civilizations on the Persian Plateau. IranShahr as an evolving culture is destined to be reflected in every aspect of transport and urban decision-making.
In urban development, a rail-oriented planning prefers the rail system to roads and private automobiles. This is not limited to the theoretical framework. In practice, it is witnessed that the recently inaugurated 267 km long Tehran-Hamedan railroad had been previously designed to be located 13 km away from the inner city; as the cost of entering into the city accounts for one-third of the entire cost of the project.
According to the Ministry’s agenda, this was not justified due to the costs of getting to the stations, fuel consumption, safety and welfare of the citizens utilizing railway system as well as the all-encompassing agenda for multi-modal transport (here in the form of rail-road synergy). So the Ministry stepped in to design a 14 km new route according to the identity and historical context and the role of Hamedan in IranShahr civilization. Once constructed, the initial station will be used alternatively for freight purposes, and maintenance of locomotives and wagons.
In the IranShahr discourse, stations are seen as just more than a place to disembark the passengers. Stations are the locale for interactions of the inside and outside of the city and essentially the people; therefore, as a center of city development. This strategy is aligned with Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) to promote walkable and pedestrian-oriented urban design which is again being carried out in Hamedan.
These schemes are particularly important in historical cities such as Hamedan for preserving the city’s heritage and promoting its tourism capacities.
Train stations located outside of cities has been usual in many different cities of Iran. However, ever since the new discourse of IranShahr, train stations are going to be utilized as a means of accelerating urban revitalization and expanding public spaces.
By Samaneh Afshar