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The Impacts of Land Use on Travel Behavior in Tehran-Karaj Region

The subject of the research is examining the microscopic effects of land use on travel behavior in the Iranian context. A combination of theoretical and empirical methods is applied to show the nature of the land use/transportation in Iranian cities and as an example in Tehran-Karaj region. This research is conducted by Dr. Houshmand E. Masoumi as a post-doc work under the Young Cities - New Towns in Iran project. The study is in close relation with other studies done in Mobility and Space group.

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Principal Researcher

Funded by

  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD)


10/2011 - 12/2012

Description of the Project

The theoretical bases of the project are the interactions between urban form or in particular land use and travel behavior. It is intended to provide with local evidence about the subject from the Iranian context. Since a large part of the international literature come from the anglophile studies, presence of studies coming from other cultures is increasingly felt. The aims of the project is to establish a framework based on the traditional and local urban form of Iran as well as collecting original data about the travel habits of Iranian urban dwellers in the scale of neighborhood.

In the theoretical part, the urban form of traditional Iranian cities is brought up as a basis for research on travel behavior study. This part presents how the concepts like centrality, short distances, walkability, and neighborhood centers have been blur during the urban transformations of the last decade. It is attempted to indicate how these notions can be applied in the new urban planning of the country to encourage people to have more sustainable mobility. What is called mobility in this context can be summarized as short urban trips and using slow modes like walking and biking. In general, the transportation-related advantages of neighborhood-oriented urban planning and localization of activities are presented in this part of the study.

The empirical part focuses on two neighborhoods in the western part of Tehran. The first one is a small neighborhood that enjoys a central structure enhanced by a small local center. Although this quarter is not so old, but in some aspects is reminds the characteristics of the traditional neighborhoods. The second selected neighborhood is a representative of the new districts that are largely affected by the Iranian urban sprawl. Such developments are not structured on a centralized manner. No neighborhood center is seen. It is assumed that many activities are to be done in other parts of the city. The questions that are answered in this section are related to the differences of length of travels or Vehicle Kilometers Traveled (VKT), transportation mode choice, the effects of residential self selection, and the role of local attractiveness in local trips. It is also interesting to have micro-scale knowledge of the possibility of different land uses in promoting pedestrian trips. Since the socio-economic factors and the distance to the CBD of the two selected neighborhoods are similar, there is good ground for comparison.


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Zentrum Technik und Gesellschaft
Sec. KAI 3-2
10553 Berlin
Tel: +49 (0)30 314-23665
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12323665


Houshmand Masoumi
Phone: +49 (0)30 314-24616
Fax: +49 (0)30 314-12324616
Room 3102a