People, Travel

Isfahan Mayor Fastens Development to Heritage

Isfahan Mayor Fastens Development to Heritage
Isfahan Mayor Fastens Development to Heritage

Isfahan Mayor Mehdi Jamalzadeh says his office is committed to the preservation of cultural heritage and will not sacrifice the city’s history for sake of growth and development.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of a meeting on International Investment Opportunities in Esfahan, Jamalzadeh reaffirmed his commitment to protecting the historical city’s cultural heritage. “The municipality is against development projects that could harm Isfahan’s cultural heritage sites.”

The municipality in Iran’s top tourist destination is set to unveil an investment package of 64 projects worth 65 trillion rials ($1.76 billion), the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.

In December, Isfahan joined the Creative Cities Network, a UNESCO initiative established in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic domain for sustainable urban development.

“UNESCO has recognized Isfahan’s handicrafts and folk arts; therefore, we need to focus on improving and developing these fields,” the mayor said, adding that his organization will do its fair share in ensuring Isfahan turns a profit from its crafts and the hard work of its artisans and superior craftsmen.

Along with Tabriz, Isfahan was granted the title of “World Crafts City” by the World Crafts Council in September, becoming the only Iranian cities to have the honor.

Jamalzadeh took stock of the nuclear deal between Iran and the six powers and said, “After talks, discussions and plans for the post sanctions period Isfahan municipality was the first to float the need for attracting investments” in the interest of national economic growth.

 Focus on Substance

 Not oblivious to the inability of earlier investment seminars to deliver, he said, “In managing the affairs of our city we have strived to scale down formalities and (unwanted) protocol and instead concentrate on substance and signing bilateral agreements.”

The mayor took stock of the need to promote tourism and the handicraft industry in one of Iran’s most beautiful cities and said oversight with respect to the tourism industry in general will be given an elevated status.

The central city also needs a museum compatible with its status and that of the large number of ancient monuments and structures that attract millions of tourists from and outside Iran every year, he added. “Despite the fact that Isfahan is a city of museums it does not have a museum.”

 He was also abundantly clear on the role and influence of private investment in his city and across the country. “If there is any avarice in relation to whole business of investments it must be disbanded forever. Investment is deserving of respect and investors are valuable people,” the mayor said echoing the voice and vision of President Hassan Rouhani.