The Bartlett School of Planning


Katayoun Karampour

Research subject

Thesis title: Municipal revenues and urban change - a case study of Tehran

Primary supervisor: Dr Claudio De Magalhães
Secondary supervisor: Professor Mike Raco
Starting date: January 2012
Projected completion date: January 2016

In recent decades many local governments around the world have been facing fiscal decentralisation for several reasons, such as improving the public sector’s efficiency, reducing the budgeting issues, and promoting economic growth. By fiscal decentralisation, budgetary authority has passed from a central government to local governments, devolving the power to make taxing and spending decisions (Bahl, 2008).

The responsible local governments are searching for ways to access private capital to finance their expenditures to meet the services demanded by residents (UN-Habitat, 2009). Charging construction of new developments is one of these ways to generate income for local governments. Charges can be set through negotiation (e.g. planning gains in England), regulation (e.g. impact fees and development charges in the US and Canada) or even bidding (e.g. selling additional construction bonds in Brazil).

How these development charges can affect the planning objectives of a city and the development process is the main topic of this PhD research. By using empirical evidences from Tehran, this study investigates how a municipal funding tool, selling construction density, has influenced the urban planning system of Tehran through its effects on the development process and developers’ decisions. By analysing this phenomenon, this research investigates whether it is appropriate that municipalities use their power to set limits to private development as a source of revenue for public investment, and what the implications of doing that are.


I have been a PhD researcher at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL since 2012. I received my bachelors degree in Conservation of Historic Environment in 2004 and consequently a masters degree in Architecture with a specialism in urban protection planning from Tehran University, Iran. In 2009-2010 I undertook another masters degree in Urban Regeneration at The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL.

From 2007 to 2009 I worked as a conservation planner and officer in the Organization of Iranian Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft and Tehran Municipality. At this time I was involved with several projects. I was also a teaching assistant at Azad University, Art and Architecture Branch and a lecturer at Azad University, Tehran West Branch. 

Publications and other work


Local government’s fiscal arrangement and urban change, A case study of Tehran, in Taking Planning Forward, UCL, 2014

Tehran Bazaar 1 and 2, in Research of Tehran Buildings Book Series, Tehran: Cultural Research Bureau, 2010, with Dr Eskandar Mokhtari

The influence of modern street layouts on collective memory of contemporary Udlajan of Tehran, conference proceedings, in 13th IPHS Conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2008, with Somayeh Fadaei-Nejad

Study of the Religious Places Position in Skeleton of Ancient Quarters, conference proceedings, in the First International Conference of Religious Places, Iran, 2007, with Elham Shojaei

Study of the processes of change in texture and its effects on amnesia of ancient textures, Peer-review paper, BAGH-I-NAZAR Journal, 6, 127-143, 2007, with Somayeh Fadaei-Nejad

Analysing the Effects of Physical Changes of Indicator Elements of Quarter on Udlajan Fabric, Peer-review paper, Honar Ha Ye Ziba Journal (Journal of Fine Arts), 28, 65-86, 2006, with Somayeh Fadaei-Nejad


Municipal Revenues and Urban Change in Tehran, AESOP PhD workshop in Delft, 2014 (upcoming)

Local Government’s Fiscal Arrangement and Urban Change, The Bartlett PhD Conference, UCL, 15 April 2014

Other skills and competencies:

Co-founder of the Bartlett School of Planning PhD Methodology Workshop, 2014

Co-coordinator of the Bartlett School of Planning Peer-review Journal Workshop (upcoming October 2014)

Peer-reviewer of a journal