70% of Tehran Population Beyond Optimum Level
Economy, Domestic Economy

70% of Tehran Population Beyond Optimum Level

The population of Tehran has long surpassed its optimal city size, a paper submitted to the International Conference on Urban Economy held recently by Iran Urban Economics Scientific Association suggests.
The study declared more than 70% of Tehran’s population have exceeded the optimum level. In other words, Tehran can only provide 2.38 million of its citizens with favorable living conditions.
Excerpts of the paper published on the association’s website follow:
By shouldering the burden of a big chunk of global production and giving shelter to half of the world’s population, cities play an important role in national economies. Benefits of agglomeration in cities have played a major role in the process of economic development of different countries. However, the expansion of urbanization has produced problems such as environmental and noise pollutions and traffic.
Therefore, many of the metropolitan residents blame the population growth for the problems, while urban governors have to find an answer to the question that if there is an optimum size for their cities, what is that size?
On the one hand, the relationship between urbanization and benefits of agglomeration suggests not imposing limitations on the size of cities. On the other hand, the dissatisfaction of most urban inhabitants over the bothering effects of population congestion, like air and noise pollutions, high rent rates, and heavy traffic, have led to demands for imposing limitations on the expansion of these cities.
Many countries, which faced a mushrooming growth of urban population, chose to put a limit on the size of cities. Such policies have hindered the abrupt growth of cities in some countries in recent decades.
The optimum size of cities has occupied not only the minds of the policymakers, but also caused many debates among experts.
This essay reflects on the optimal size of metropolitans in Iran, namely Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Shiraz and Ahvaz, and gives separate estimation for each.  
The following table presents the optimum size for five Iranian metropolises. We can see that the optimum size for Tehran is in the range of 2.038 million people, meaning the current population has gone beyond its efficient level.
As indicated, Tehran holds the highest surplus population among Iranian metropolitans (70.5%).

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