After the construction of Imam Ali Highway in eastern Tehran, many neighborhoods struggle with being physically departed. Following this issue, the urban authority requested proposals to connect the disconnected parts. From the beginning, it was clear for the design team at Future City Innovation Lab that starting a new construction project (e.g. bridges or platforms to connect the eastern and western parts) a few years after the construction of the highway itself may not seem to be the best idea.
Since the problem was vague from the beginning, we decided to deploy Design Thinking for this problem. The benefit of this approach is that Design Thinking is most suitable for problems with no solid definition. We first recognized the issue and start the empathy phase by interviewing the locals in the target neighborhoods and visualizing the interviews on an interactive map. Then, we defined the problem and started the ideation process. We came up with a portfolio of ideas.
The design team finally decided to further develop and present one of the ideas; Charkh-e-Peyvand (Wheel of Connection in Farsi). Charkh-e-Peyvand is an urban service based on remodeled vehicles that carry desired services throw-out the neighborhoods. The design team noticed that these services either are not available in the neighborhoods or are not fairly accessible among the citizens. These services may include coffee shops and restaurants, mobile classrooms, etc. Charkh-e-Peyvand, in essence, is a business that would run with certain considerations for increasing the quality of life in the neighborhood. These considerations determine where these services are most needed within the neighborhoods. Citizens would be informed of the locations of these services during the day via a mobile app or a short message service.
Free WiFi connection for the neighborhood
Lighting for safety reasons
(Wheel of Connectivity)