Transportation megaprojects, including highways, intersections, tunnels, subway, light rail transit, tram and etc., are expensive and risky projects. The projects are highly the result of urban managers and policy makers’ decisions. In fact, despite their predicted consequences and costs, the projects are considered as the priorities in cities due to their attractiveness for managers. Researches and experiences show that the projects usually lead to cost overrun, failure to meet objectives and schedule, social tensions, public dissatisfaction and unwanted immigration.
Tehran as a metropolitan city, applied transportation plans and programs to meet its considerable traffic challenges. Since two decades ago, the city has constructed several transportation megaprojects including highways, intersections and metro as well as addressing a few sustainable transportation approaches, modes and guidelines in the related plans and programs.
This paper aims to analyze the efficiency of large investment transportation projects as the solutions for transportation improvement in Tehran and addresses their various aspects including their social consequences, economic and technical results. The research question is if the transportation megaprojects in Tehran are in consistent with sustainable development approach? Therefore, at first, the general characteristics and challenges of transportation megaprojects as the transportation improvement policies and the sustainable transportation management system recommended in the related literature are reviewed. Then, it studies transportation megaprojects that have been built since 2000 in Tehran, including the construction of highways, intersections and metro. It qualitatively analyzes the transportation megaprojects in Tehran and assess those regarding their compatibility with sustainable development. The necessary data and information are gathered from published documents and statistics and newspaper articles. The results show that transportation megaprojects in Tehran are mostly vehicle-friendly and are not in accordance with sustainable urban form. In other words, many of those were not defined based on an integrated transportation and urban planning process, and the social and environmental impact assessments of such megaprojects have been ignored.