In the middle of the 19th century, both Tehran and Paris were seen by contemporaries as cities which had remained stuck in the Middle Ages, their streets still dark, narrow and unhealthy.
Paris in particular was the subject of many writings in the 19th century. From the end of the 18th century on, the city was analyzed exhaustively and documented by architects, doctors, engineers and cartographers. But the man who directed the transformation of Paris under the Second Empire, was a civic planner who called himself Baron Haussmann. His task was to improve hygiene through better air quality. Drawing on the analyses mentioned above, Haussmann worked out a vast plan of urban restoration, envisaging a certain number of parks and gardens, and creating many new public gardens, as well as the avenues, the squares and the large monumental buildings for which Paris is famous. On the whole, it is estimated that the work of Baron Haussmann modified Paris by 60%.
Tehran in the 18th century was still a mysterious city, largely unknown to Westerners. But in the19th century it opened up to the world and started to change. The first development plan of the city was applied in 1867, during the reign of Nasser-din Shah (1848 - 1896), the 4th sovereign of the Qajar line. This plan reorganized Teheran, envisaged new public spaces, avenues, and new structures with new functions and for new activities.
These two cities developed at the same time: Is it possible, then, through comparative methods, to seek the logic behind Tehran’s development through that of Paris? Did Tehran develop following Haussmann's model? Or were there other reasons which had an influence on the development plan? The current study compares the historical steps in the development of the two cities and analyses their urban history during the 19th c. CE.