Concept Note

International Policy Forum on Urban Growth and Conservation

The Eurasian corridor, which expands over vast continental areas from the Far Eastern Asia to Europe, has been known as connecting line of various civilizations between the East and the West, evoking a romantic idea about the history accumulated in these areas. The growth management issues have become crucial since 1980’s as the rapid economic growth in several regions in Eastern and Southern Asia as well as Middle East has resulted in the appearance of mega-cities with the population of more than 10 million. Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Mumbai, Tehran and Istanbul are suffering from the super-concentration of immigrating population. The conventional methodology of urban planning is not any more useful for dealing with the urban management problems.

Parallel to the growth side, another type of urban problem has come to appearance: shrinking cities. In the northern part of the globe, countries such as Russia, Japan and Korea are facing a serious problem of declining population derived from the ageing society and the internal displacement of population. Even other nations in the south are said to face this problem sooner or later. The dual phenomenon of the Growing and the Shrinking is a fundamental problematic which threatens the Eurasian corridor.

Besides, since 1990’s, a series of geo-political upheavals occurring in these areas have resulted in drastic changes of inter-regional relation beyond border, accompanied by intensification of communication and implementation of regional and urban development. This rapid transformation, however, has threatened unique historical and ecological environment maintained in these areas. Experts and professionals have alerted from time to time the negative aspects of such environmental changes pushed by the tide of globalization.

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Since 2009, AIJ and its partners have tried to upgrade its strategy toward the implementation of the methodology already acquired through past activities. The establishment of a Policy Forum on the basis of the existing platform is its new direction, gathering concerned institutions from respective countries. In 2010, The First International Policy Forum took place in Istanbul as a joint venue by Istanbul Metropolitan Planning (IMP) and AIJ, gathering more than hundred participants from all the concerned countries in Europe and Asia. The Second Forum was planned in Japan, scheduled to be held in Tsukuba in September 2011, but due to the unexpected earthquake and tsunami of March 2011, the forum was cancelled. After three years interval AIJ is now planning to re-start this program with more encouraging vision for strengthening the collaboration among the partners and with more detailed scientific and policy-oriented approach.

This is the reason why the Third Policy Forum is now being prepared in Iran with its Iranian counterpart. One of the major concerns of Tehran-Hamadan Conference is the growth management and environmental/heritage conservation within the areas where the comparison between rapidly-growing mega-cities and poorly-shrinking local towns is distinct. The shift of urban population toward more economically-promising mega-cities characterizes its disparity. The rapidness of the urban transformation as well as the uneven distribution of wealth within the country does not allow to react with appropriate intervention. New strategy for the correction of such situation is widely needed. Inter-regional cooperation between matured part and rising part of the world is urgently necessary. Exchange of knowhow and scientific view by way of inter-regional communication would certainly lead to more effective approach for the solutions. International collaboration on the basis of local identity is crucial for establishing consolidated environmental/heritage policy.

3. From policy-making point of view, it is crucial to discern the appropriate direction for future planning of historical heritage and environment within the specific areas of rapid development. General idea, by comparing similar types of development in the world, should be achieved so as to react to actual problems by implementing detailed programs for each cities and region within the designated areas.

4. As an exchange program among concerned institutions and municipalities, this conference is to play the role of the platform for experts, professionals and managers who are deeply involved in urban growth management issues, in collaboration with other international organizations. Workshops for younger generation are included in this program for education and training purpose.


Arash Sohrabi
Executive Coordinator


Morteza Maleki
Secretary of Scientific Policy Making Committee


Salame Molla
Scientific Meetings Coordinator

Executive Committee

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Dr. Ahmad Ekhlasi
Iran science and technology university


Prof. Riichi Miyake
International coordinator of conference and forum

Policy Making Committee

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Dr. Saied Alitajer
Scientific coordinator of Hamadan forum


Dr. Mehdi Khakzand
Scientific coordinator of Tehran international conference

Scientific Committee

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Delegates from other institutes will be announced through website soon.

For national delegates selection will be based on rules which can be found in conference website and selected names will be on conference website by 1st August.

International Joint Team

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School of Architecture and Environmental Design,
Iran University of Science and Technology,
Narmak Ave., Tehran, Iran
Tele-fax: +98-21-77240151, Fax: +98-21-77240468

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