A Comparative study on the Role of Energy Efficiency in Urban Planning Instruments of Iran and Germany

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Center- Tehran, Iran

2 BuroHappold-Berlin, Germany


In recent years energy efficiency in different levels become of prime importance. Studies have been shown that urban planning can play a critical role in this area. At the same time in oil-producing countries like Iran, energy efficiency has not been considered as a national priority. However, in recent years with increase in the population growth, rapid urbanization and acceleration of environmental degradation, the issue is gaining more importance. Iran has adopted its first national building code on energy efficiency in 90’s. However, as the country lacks a hierarchical energy planning system, its achievements were below the expectations. To improve the situation, it is important to study the experiences of other countries. Germany with a solid and successful energy planning in different scales can be considered as one of the pioneering countries, and its programs could be used as a guideline to achieve similar goals in other countries.
Recently the German government has adopted a highly ambitious energy program, called “Energy transition” (Energiewende). The program will affect all planning instruments and ordinances in the country. As a comprehensive and upper level plan, "Energy transition" can be studied form different viewpoints. In the current study, its influence on urban planning instruments will be the main focus. The main objective is to compare the role of energy in urban planning instruments of Iran and Germany, and to develop some solutions and strategies to be considered in Iran. The first step in this study is the introduction of urban planning systems and instruments in the two countries, then the role of energy in each country will be introduced and with an analytical review, some suggestion for Iranian planning instruments will be made. Using comparative study as the research methodology, the study will focus on "comprehensive plan" and "detailed plan" as two main urban planning instruments in Iran, and "binding land use plan" and “preparatory land use plan" as formal planning instruments in Germany together with informal and other supporting instruments. The study will show how urban planning in Germany achieves the federal goals on energy efficiency and how it can work as a model for other countries.


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