Shushtar (Shüshtar), Iran, Asia
Year1977latitude: 32° 3'
longitude: 48° 50'
Planning organization
Nationality initiator(s)
Designer(s) / Architect(s)Kamran Diba
Design organizationD.A.Z. Architects, Planners and Engineers
Target population30,000
Town website
Town related links
Literature- “A Case Study: Design Concepts of Shushtar New Town” Aga Khan web site.
- “Recent Housing Boom in Iran – Lessons to Remember” Karam T. Diba, Aga Khan web site.

type of New Town: > scale of autonomy
New Town
Company Town
> client
Private Corporation
Public Corporation
> policy
The inhabitants of this satellite town are the employees of a sugar processing concern nearby. This company's long range plans are to provide its workers not only with individual row housing, but with communal facilities and infrastructural services, to include a shopping centre and bazaar, a mosque, a community and cultural centre, a school, sports facilities, a bus station and a bridge to the old town across the river. The development is intended to revitalise the old town and to accommodate expansion generated by industrial growth in the region. The project was planned in five stages, to have been completed by 1985. Construction was started in 1976, and most of the first phase, comprising housing for about 4'000 inhabitants, was completed by 1977. Political unrest in 1979 disrupted the work. During the hiatus in construction, squatters and refugees moved into the complex, overcrowding and straining its infrastructure and resources. The work is currently ongoing depending on the availability of funding.

Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, 1986.

Tightly knit urban fabric reminiscent of Islamic vernacular architecture. This encourages social interaction and collectivity. Streets and spaces are designed with regards to the climate: narrow to preserve the coolness of night temperatures.
There is a traditional structuring of the houses with flexible room units and large multi-purpose
rooms. As the population is strongly influenced by a nomadic culture it was chosen to keep the rooms adaptable for different daily functions. This also means that there are fewer but larger rooms, and that there were constructed houses instead of apartments.
The outdoor organization of streets was also meant to accommodate traditional use: dead end streets were created to make people use them for social purposes. For this reason, parking is also isolated to certain areas.
One main street is made the social 'spine' of the complex where all roads and paths lead to. Here there is placed squares, green spaces, schools and bazaars. There is thus a stark contrast between the living quarter's narrow streets and the wide public spaces.
To avoid the city becoming too corporate in terms of inhabitants a certain percentage of the houses are available on the free market.


2008 - 2023 disclaimer