ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


One of the fundamental problems in the historical areas of Iranian cities is related with their incompatibility with contemporary urban projects and new developments. Owning to inattention to the old city structure in the historical core of the north of Isfahan, the new developments have imposed a new one that is in discordance with the old part of the city. This problem has led to progressive deterioration and obliteration of the historical areas including all architectural and urban elements like Atiq Square and Jāmeh mosque. This research aims at identifying the effect of contemporary urban developments- particularly the Haussmanniannet work imposed on the city, that is, on the spatial structure of historical area of the city. To achieve the mentioned goal, the structure of the city has been analyzed over four critical historical periods: the first period, Seljuqs; the second period: Safavids ; the third period: Pahlavi dynasty and fourth period: contemporary development and reconstruction of Atiq Square and surrounding area. In this study the Jāmeh mosque and Atiq square have been considered as integral components of the old city which have important role in the evolution of the city structure. As principal notions of this research, the relationship between “Spatial cohesion” and “integration” constitutes the main body of paper. Being a new approach, this method surveys the urban structure and spatial configuration in the old city. Considering the importance of the variations of “integration value” and its correlation with the concept of “structural cohesion”, this variable (integration value) has been taken into account as the main notion to evaluate the modification of the new development projects with old city structure. The “Space Syntax” technique has been used to measure the “integration value” in different scales. The integration value has also been calculated and compared on five principal axes surrounding Atiq Square including Jamaleh, Bazar, Joubareh, Dardash and Harounieh. Therefore, the concept of “spatial integration” of historical core of Isfahan has been analyzed through the above-mentioned approach in collaboration with Space Syntax. The results showed that contemporary development, recent urban projects and other interventions have not been successfully adapted due to neglecting the historical and socio-spatial contexts of the city. Concerning the “integration value”, the average value of integration on all axes has considerably increased. Moreover, the findings showed that (in the city scale), the recent project of reconstruction of Atiq square has led to a better integration value of surrounding axes in comparison with Pahlavi development projects. In the local scale, the demolition of Atiq square because of haussmannian development of Pahlavi period has significant impact on deterioration of spatial cohesion. In spite of better integration on urban scale, the local integration of historical axes has decreased. The lack of integration has intensified the disintegration of local network and ,thus, the urban area. The immediate consequence was the isolation of main architectural and urban elements such as Jāmeh mosque or Ali mosque which are both, for the time being, close to the rehabilitated Atiq square. Another result of this isolation was the considerable and growing social problems such as insecurity, poverty and social segregation.


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