It is widely acknowledged that urbanization presents one of the most urgent challenges of the 21st century. The majority of the world population now lives in the cities that are the major source of greenhouse gases and climate change. Cities, towns and villages must act swiftly and decisively to become more efficient at energy and resources, more self-reliant in meeting their needs, less polluting and increasingly sustainable if they are to create conditions for a healthy and enduring human civilization on earth.
Looking more closely at urban sprawl in the last decades and environmental issues has led the urban designers and developers to think more precisely and to come up with new approaches to conserving the environment and developing
An approach which leads to create Eco cities. The Eco city approach to sustainable development seeks to maximize the possibility that cities can sustainably meet a majority of their needs from the natural capital of their own bioregions. 
The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System demonstrates outstanding universal value as in its present form; it dates from the 3rd century CE3 probably on older bases from the 5th century BCE . It is complete, with numerous functions, and large-scale, making it exceptional. The Shushtar system is a homogeneous hydraulic system, designed globally and completed in the 3rd century CE. It is as rich in its diversity of civil engineering structures and its constructions as in the diversity of its uses (urban water supply, mills, irrigation, river transport, and defensive system). The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System testifies to the heritage and the synthesis of earlier Elamite and Mesopotamian knowhow; it was probably influenced by the Petra dam and tunnel and by Roman civil engineering. The Shushtar hydraulic system,
urban areas. Examples of recent urban design approaches are smart growth, compact city, landscape urbanism, eco village, ecological urbanism and so on.
The current research deals with concepts related to ecology in the city and particularly with the theory of Ecological Urbanism and eco cities. Additionally, a number of systems for evaluating eco cities are referred. Furthermore, traditional Persian architecture and urban design, especially in the historical urban fabric, which is an excellent example of sustainability, are mentioned. Shushtar’s historical urban fabric is investigated in this paper and its extraordinary characteristics are recognized and compared with the theory.
in its ensemble and most particularly the Shâdorvân Grand Weir (bridge-dam), has been considered a Wonder of the World not only by the Persians but also by the Arab- Muslims at the peak of their civilization. The Gargar canal is a veritable artificial watercourse which made possible the construction of a new town and the irrigation of a vast plain, at the time semi-desert. 
The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System sits in an urban and rural landscape specific to the expression of its value.
Criterion (i): The Shushtar Hydraulic System is testimony to a remarkably accomplished and early overall vision of the possibilities afforded by diversion canals and large weir- dams for land development. It was designed and completed in the 3rd century CE for sustainable operation and is still in use today. It is a unique and exceptional ensemble in terms of its technical diversity and its completeness that testifies to human creative genius.
Fig.1. (a) Old map; urban fabric and traditional architecture. (b) Shushtar Hydraulic system 
Criterion (ii): The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System is a synthesis of diverse techniques brought together to form a remarkably complete and large-scale ensemble. It has benefited from the ancient expertise of the Elamites and Mesopotamians in canal irrigation, and then that of theNabateans; Roman technicians also influenced its construction. Its many visitors marveled at it and were in turn inspired.
It testifies to the exchange of considerable influences in hydraulic engineering and its application throughout antiquity and the Islamic period under the various Iranian dynasties.
Criterion (iii): Shushtar is a unique and exceptionally complete example of hydraulic techniques developed during ancient times to aid the occupation of semi-desert lands. By diverting a river flowing down the mountains, using large-scale civil engineering structures and the creation of canals, it made possible multiple uses for the water across a vast territory:
Urban water supply, agricultural irrigation, fish farming, mills, transport, defense system, etc. It testifies to a technical culture dating back eighteen centuries serving the sustainable development of a human society, in harmony with its natural and urban environment. 
In this study, a number of criteria and definitions regarding eco city and ecological urbanism were elaborated. As a result, the criteria and frameworks are categorized in four dimensions which are demonstrated in the table below.
Each of the dimensions has different various indicator areas. In a final analysis each indicator is compared with the case study characteristic and the result is illustrated in Table2.
The information presented on the table indicates that most of the ecological criteria are present in the ancient city of Shushtar, however, the socio-cultural criteria is not completely fulfilled. Considering that Shushtar meets the ecological aspects and needs of its era, we can call this historical heritage, an ancient eco city. Based on the present research Shushtar can be recognized as possessing an outstanding universal value, numerous functions, large-scale ecologic civil and urban design, and ancient homogeneous hydraulic system.
Designed and completed in the 3rd century, Shushtar still acts as a sustainable city. It has considerable impact on the hydraulic engineering as result of its creative and inspiring technology. Moreover, it has an economical multi- functional urban structure, in line with the sustainable development. Integrity, authenticity and the use of local materials are also among its extraordinary characteristics.
To sum up, it can be concluded that art and the interaction between the human race and nature, in each society, existed long before the eco urbanism criteria was formed. Yet, it seems that there are certain similar criteria to define the connection between eco urbanism criteria and Shushtar’s urban design characteristics. Shushtar, the ancient eco city, has a holistic approach and fulfils various kinds of human requirements such as economy, environment, culture, art- to name a few. Shushtar has utilized the most advanced technologies and materials of its time both in architecture and urban design; therefore, it can stand for an ideal eco-city of the ancient era.
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