About Us
World Olympiad for Urban Design (WOUD) based on the protocol which was signed on April 20, 2004, is due to be held by the International Art & Architecture Research Association (IAARA) under the supreme management of UN-HABITAT.
The objective of this event is to enhance the urban space quality of all the cities in World. It will be organized as a sustainable program every 4 years in one of the member countries of UN-HABITAT.
The 1st World Olympiad for Urban Design calls the cities of the World to compete for the promotion of urban space quality with the slogan of “Creativity for Urban Sustainability”. more

UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. Housing is an issue that has great significance in the world.
Due to the ever-increasing population the concepts of housing and city have become a serious challenge for the contemporary man. Architectects from all around the world will gather in the World Architects Forum to direct their attention on the quality of this important topic, while at the same time taking into account the different dimensional needs of human beings.

Urban Sustainable Development Programme (USDP) aims to promote sustainable development through Livelihood Strategies & Urban Tourism. IAARA & UN-HABITAT selected the historical city of Qazvin as the pilot city for the program. The official opening of USDP was held in January 2006 with the presence of Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT. USDP is formulated with the aim of strengthening urban development programs. more
IAARA is an organization that is dedicated to solving the problems of rapid urbanization and aims to accomplish this goal through the training of regional urban managers (TRUM) by engaging enthusiastic professionals.
Research and training form the main core of activities under TRUM.
IAARA trains regional urban managers with the partnership of numerous skilled and well-known university professors. Major contributions are also made by a group of the most influential scientific and operational managers in the world. Presently IAARA collaborates with a number of national and international organizations such as universities, research institutes, professional firms, mayors, and city managers as well as individual scholars and practitioners.
Under the TRUM programme IAARA has organized numerous workshops, conferences and seminars in dozens of cities around the world.
BLP of UN Habitat
IAARA has been recognized as the Iranian partner and representative of “Best Practices & Local Leadership Programme” by UN-HABITAT in Nairobi, Kenya with Reza Pourvaziry becoming a member of its Steering Committee.
In 2006, Reza Pourvaziry proposed to the Iranian Municipalities and Village Administrations to organize the Iranian Festival of Rural Best Practices and following their approval this festival has been successfully organized twice.
Local Agenda 21 for the city of Qazvin
Local Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment. This agenda has been applied to many cities around the world, and currently IAARA is formulating the local Agenda 21 for the city of Qazvin with an approach of Sustainable urban development and promotion of housing quality.
Strategy: The formulation of a spatial programme in a uniquely defined part of the historical section of the city. Numerous workshops, including a public workshop, has been organized for the formulation of a strategy and a charter draft. more
International Art &
Architecture Research
A s s o c i a t i o n
Zarand Project for the Promotion of Urban Space Quality
The program is aimed at the promotion of urban space quality in the city of Zarand. The project will focus on a pedestrian area, with a length of 2 km and a width of 30 meters, at a streetside in the heart of the city. Our intent is to make the location more active in order to improve the urban space quality. The project is being accomplished with the involvement of UN-HABITAT and the partnerships of the University of Westminster and the Zarand Municipality. more
Research and Reconstruction of an Ancient Persian Harp
The research on ancient worldwide musical instruments began in the year 2000 in which the first sample of this collection is the most ancient string instrument in the world, dating back 6000 years.
The reconstruction project of the harp is directly supported by the International Art and Architecture Research Association (IAARA) and UN-HABITAT, and will be showcased at the opening ceremony of the World Olympiad of Urban Design (WOUD).
This instrument will be the symbol of Persian Music. more
UDIC1 (1st Urban Design International Congress, Competition & Celebration) is a multi section program with the ultimate goal of urban life quality promotion through both theoretical and practical approaches to “Cities” in a wide meaning spectrum of “Urban Design”. UDIC1 is a program planned and initiated by IAARA. As the final stage of the program, in addition to award ceremonies of two other sectors of UDIC1 (competition and celebration), the 1st Urban Design International Congress was held in Isfahan 4-7 September 2006. more
IAARA is a constant promoter of "No War", and has been the supporter of several events for the promotion of peace. more
Local Agenda 21 for the city of Rafsanjan
Based on the Protocol signed on January 28, 2009 between IAARA president, Reza Pourvaziry, and Rafsanjan Mayor, Ali Akbar Pourmohammadi, IAARA is to coordinate and implement the local agenda 21 programme for the city of Rafsanjan.
LA21 Rafsanjan is the second LA21 project IAARA has undertaken for Iranian cities. more


Thematic center of BLP