There are over 2,100 parks in Tehran : Mokhtari

Tehran, Feb 15, IRNA - Ali Mohmmad Mokhtari, managing director of Tehran Parks and Green Space Organization said that there are presently over 2,122 parks in the capital covering an area of 50.500 km2, which makes up eight percent of the entire 618 km2 area the metropolis.

Mokhtari made the statement in an interview with Sunday's edition of 'Tehran Times'. However if sidewalk trees, squares, highways, etc. are counted in, the total green space within the capital will stretch over 12,600 hectares, covering over 20 percent of Tehran area, Mokhtari said, adding that over 2,038 hectares have been added to the parkland since 2005.
Four parks have also been established exclusively for women in the city of Tehran totaling about 80 hectares, while the fifth park, an additional of 30 hectares, is under construction, he explained.
The managing director said green space per capita depends greatly on the bioclimatic conditions of a city which obviously differ from a desert area to a temperate climate zone, adding that this is why different figures for green space have been suggested for the residents of the capital.
Ministry of Transport and Urban Development, for example, has calculated the green space per capita to be between seven to 12 m2 , while United Nations Environment Programs has suggested 20 to 25 m2, and the Master Plan Of Tehran recommends 10 m2, Mokhtari explained.
With 68 percent increase over the past 10 years, the green space per capita in Tehran is now about 15.5 m2, he added.
Tehran Municipality, however, is tasked to expand the green space per capita to 17.4 m2 by the end of its second five-year plan [2014-2018], he added.
One of the challenges facing metropolitan officials, according to Mokhtari, is the equitable distribution of parks throughout the capital, a difficult task in limited spaces of the old and densely populated downtown.
This is why the least advantaged districts, including 7,8,9,10,11, 12 and 17, have been put at the top of agenda for expanding the green space.
Mokhtari further explained that planting saplings, expanding greenbelt, as well as purchasing old buildings to convert them to public green space are among the measures currently taken by officials.
Despite structural limitations, large chunks of downtown and southern Tehran are been turned into green space and parkland over the past two decades, out of which Velayat and Azadegan parks are worth mentioning, he added.
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