EghtesadOnline: Tehran Municipality, the body overseeing the management of the Iranian capital, is aiming to overhaul the way the megacity generates revenue, turning away from practices that had over decades adversely affected its performance, the city’s mayor announced.
Mohammad Ali Najafi, who took the reins of the capital two months ago, added that the municipality aims to tap new methods, policies and approaches mainly to seek sustainable sources of income instead of unstable ones such as from issuing construction permits, which was common during his predecessor’s tenure.
“Past methods, policies and agendas are no longer working and we need to come up with new schemes, even though many of these methods may have been previously effective,” Najafi was also quoted as saying by the official website of Tehran Municipality.
He added that one of the main criteria for selecting new managers will be their creativity and novel ideas because even if past ideas and plans were effective, their expiry date has arrived, according to Financial Tribune.
The official referred to the income of municipalities in metropolitan areas as one of the notable examples of the need to change management course, saying such cities cannot be run by depending on unsustainable ways of the past, which mainly revolved around the excessive issuance of construction permits.
“Even if we wanted to continue in this manner, it would no longer be possible under the current circumstances,” he added.
Najafi, a former education minister, was appointed mayor after a decisive victory for moderates in May’s local elections. He succeeded Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, a conservative who ran the capital for 12 years– a tenure marked by controversy and accusations of corruption.
Raising the Bar
The Tehran mayor pointed to a recent conference of metropolitan mayors held in the northeastern city of Mashhad, saying that when the problems of various megacities were put forward in that conference, it emerged that about 80% of the issues were the same, although their degree of intensity differed.
That is why coming up with a set of comprehensive and timely solutions to resolve challenges facing Tehran Municipality would also help alleviate troubles other metropolises are grappling with, he added.
“Tehran may opt to choose attractive slogans for its long-term plans, but it should employ ones that would embody the essence of its planning while being accessible and doable at the same time,” he said.
Najafi then directed his attention toward the most important approaches and priorities of organizations and departments affiliated with Tehran Municipality.
Waste management was an issue emphasized by the official who said that if the municipality fails to create a significant change in the way the city’s waste is collected and disposed, it has effectively failed in implementing a notable part of its duty.
Sustainable development, environmental problems and climate issues were referred to by the mayor as important to the government, which has counted on municipalities to lead the way in realizing them.
Najafi said he plans to devise short-term plans in this regard, such as staging maneuvers for citizens to make these issues more tangible for them and garner their attention more than ever.
The mayor emphasized on managing human resources to optimally employ their capabilities, especially since Tehran Municipality alone employs more than 68,000 staff.
“More than 50% of the capital’s citizens are women and we need to think of ways to enhance their psychological safety and improve their working conditions,” Najafi concluded.