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EghtesadOnline: A considerable area of Iran's capital city comprises distressed areas that house 15% of all its residents, an official with the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development said.

"About 3,268 hectares of Tehran's total area are considered distressed urban areas that consist of 15% of Tehran's population," Nader Mohammadzadeh, deputy general for roads and urban development at the ministry, said, adding that 85% of all distressed urban areas are located in the southern parts of the city.

"About 14,792 hectares of Tehran's total area, which are equal to 24% of the city, are unsustainable areas in which 37% of the city's total population live," he was also quoted as saying by the ministry's official news website.

People currently having permanent residence in Tehran exceed eight million. However, in what has increasingly emerged as a challenge for the capital, millions live in small cities around Tehran, often under poor housing conditions. Many of them commute to and from Tehran on a daily basis, according to Financial Tribune.

According to Mohammadzadeh, 3,268 hectares of distressed areas are spread out across 196 neighborhoods of Tehran. Of this number, 20 districts are considered valuable historical neighborhoods, eight are so-called unofficial residencies and 168 are in-between.

The administration of President Hassan Rouhani has put urban revitalization and renewal on top of its agenda for the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development. The urban renewal program of Tehran was recently expanded to include cities and residences surrounding the capital.

Mohammadzadeh noted that as part of Tehran's program, the ministry has so far designed and devised the roadmap of renewing neighborhoods with a focus on improving quality of life, is following up on registration and legal issues, implementing an incentive package, including loans for renewals and rolling out a public information campaign.

As the official said, the government is to have a 70% share of the resources required to provide services and improve quality in public areas, will offer discounts for issuing construction permits in distressed urban areas and divest lands to Tehran Municipality with the aim of constructing new stable homes in distressed areas.

Another social housing official has said 63% of all residential units located in the rural areas of Tehran Province are highly unstable and in serious need of renovation.

Hamidreza Roustaei, the deputy for rural housing renovation at the Housing Foundation of the Islamic Revolution, called on residents of these areas to tap into facilities offered with the specific aim of renovating and revitalizing unsafe buildings.

"About 21,000 residential rural units in Tehran have been strengthened and fortified through these loans," he was also quoted as saying by IRIB.

According to the official, from a total of 226,918 rural residential units in Tehran, about 143,000 are unstable and structurally weak.

These units are identified as part of schemes implemented once every five years and evaluates them quantitatively and qualitatively in terms of structure and age of building, among other things. The latest edition of the scheme is set to start from Saturday.

The First International Exhibition of Housing, Urban Development and Urban Upgrading is scheduled to be held at Mosalla, a major fairground in downtown Tehran, from Nov. 18 to 20.

According to the official news website of the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, the state backer of the exhibition, some of the main goals of the event are to focus on ways of improving quality of life in urban and rural areas, offer the latest in smart city developments and discuss housing economy.

Reaching commercial contracts concerning smart cities with the private sector, creating incentives among private sector investors and introducing modern techniques of property sales are among other pivots of the exhibition.


Tehran Tehran Residents Distressed Urban Areas