[By Shideh] Tehran mayor, Mr. Qalibaf, has been trying to learn from and collaborate with other big cities in the world to improve Tehran in many ways. I find his attempts promising and in the right direction: http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=180227
Tehran can learn a great deal from Tokyo in terms of pollution reduction and earthquake safety. Perhaps Japan is one of the few remaining nations that has not paid much attention to the US attempts to impose international sanctions on Iran – up to debate. This is a great start for Qalibaf to attract Japanese investment and collaborate with the mayor of Tokyo to improve Tehran’s infrastructure. However, an important part of the problem in Tehran and Iran in general is not related to technical expertise and lack of knowledge. The main problem seems to be deeply rooted in social awareness and culture. It takes a great number of local experts on the social psychology of Tehranians to solve the essential problems that are unique to Tehran and do not apply to Tokyo. Japan in particular has a culture vastly different from those of Iranians and I hope that their solutions and policies will not be blindly applied to Tehran. Iran has a history of blindly following policies of developed nations to improve its system (i.e. education, infrastructure, architecture, city planning, etc.) and my impression is that these attempts have lead to disastrous results and confusion on our own social/cultural identity.