World Streets. Paris, 16 June 2011. Most of us have some pretty truncated ideas about the pace and quality of daily life in this large and important country, which has, for various historical reasons, been cut off from the mainstream of international exchange, policy and practice when it comes to their streets. The simple truth is this. Every morning in Iran, some seventy-eight million women, men and children wake up to start their day, and they have to get to work, school, shopping, the hospital, visit friends and relatives, and all the other tasks and obligations of everyday life. It is important that these trips be safe, healthy and efficient.
It is for this excellent reason that we set out some months ago to seek out and collaborate with knowledgeable people who know the country and its streets, inside and out, in order to create a new, free, independent, collaborative publication and information resource, drawing on the lessons learned over the last years with World Streets and Nuova Mobilità (in Italy).
In the words of editor Kourosh Rad, the job, the goal of Streets of Iran is to try to bring hearts and minds to the problem of how one moves from streets that are today for the most part “public spaces” (mainly defined as such because they are no one’s private property) to social spaces – in a phrase, streets that work for people. And since this is the 21st century in an increasingly borderless world, the approach being taken is to be open to the best ideas no matter where they come from. Which you may take as an invitation to get involved.
To kick this off very simply, let’s have a look together at one picture of one street in Iran, which if you look hard enough is worth a thousand words.
Has that whetted your curiosity to see more? In that case please visit the library of photos that we are slowly building up here. And if you have candidates for us, don’t be shy. Try to make them as close as you can to 990 × 180 pixels and send them to the editor of Streets of Iran, Kourosh Rad at firstname.lastname@example.org
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About the author:
Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is managing director of EcoPlan International, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving social-technical change and sustainable development. He is managing editor of World Streets in Paris.