Determination of Ecological Footprints of Dense and High-Rise Districts, Case Study of Elahie Neighborhood, Tehran


This research is focused on evaluation of environmental impacts of the dense and high-rise urban developments in Elahie neighborhood, Tehran by applying the Ecological footprints analysis. The primary analysis of the land use changes from 1979 till 2005 showed that the built areas increased by 250% whereas the open and green spaces decreased by more than 1.7 times. The degradation of open and green areas by the built areas has been determined as one of the most significant environmental impacts of the high-rise neighborhood development. In addition, it was discovered that the real ecological footprints of neighborhood (to meet its resident's needs) is 5 times more than its statistical area and 1.6 times more than Tehran city.
Based on our results, it can be concluded that the Elahie neighborhood is being consumed by more than its real environmental carrying capacity. Furthermore, it seems that there was no plan for green space developments to compensate for the increase in construction of the high-rise buildings during the studied period. Finally it was demonstrated that the Ecological footprint analysis based on the "land consuming" criteria (as a common and measurable criterion) can be applied to and developed as a suitable environmental impact assessment tool of small scale urban developments.