ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Urban studies, Faculty of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science & Technology, Iran, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Urban studies, Faculty of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science & Technology, , Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Urban studies, Faculty of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science & Technology, , Tehran, Iran



·         Playing various diverse roles by rivers and their abundant quality values for humans and their habitats
·         Utilizing the competitive advantage of urban rivers according to a comprehensive planning and a holistic, multi-sectoral, intelligent, and creative management
·         Necessity of paying attention to the core characteristics of the rivers and their use as character shaping components of public places based on urban rivers in planning and design process
1. Introduction
Rivers have been effective in the location, appearance, and development of settlements, everywhere including in Iran, and have offered them various qualities. The current problem of water in the country has emphasized the issue of water quality and health of rivers. However, simultaneous protection of rivers, response to the concern of how to handle them in the development of settlements, and utilization of this gift to the benefit of the public requires an identification of their dimensions, functions, and values with​​in different branches of science. Recognition of the importance of rivers, along with avoidance of an incomprehensive view in their planning, management, and exploitation, provides a collective consensus among the people, officials, and professionals, which paves the way for the use of rivers to improve the quality of life.
 2. Theoretical Framework
By reviewing the functions, values, and qualities of rivers, while emphasizing the need for their protection, this study seeks to re-examine and re-emphasize their importance for settlements and their inhabitants and the need for comprehensive consideration of these natural phenomena. It also highlights the need to change attitudes toward rivers and avoid sectoral planning and management in different scales and systems of study, and indicates the importance of adopting a comprehensive view. In the context of urban design, the study explains the central role of rivers in distinguishing public places. Accordingly, the primary purposes of the research are to review and account for the functions, values, and qualities of rivers for settlements and to explain the dimensions of river-centeredness in cities and public places. The secondary purposes are to account for the different dimensions of urban rivers in accordance with the systems of study in different branches of science and to explain the necessity of adopting a holistic approach in confrontation with urban rivers. The review of the research literature indicates that most studies have examined aspects of the role and value of rivers along with their focuses. Specifically, domestic studies have not attempted to comprehensively investigate the issue, and involve minor references to certain functions or qualities of rivers. In addition, these studies have not examined the centrality of rivers in settlements and public places.
 3. Methodology
This developmental-applied research seeks to reform the attitudes and perspectives of urban management professionals and experts in river-related branches of science (including urban planning and design) and to note the importance of a holistic view for their protection and use by reviewing the roles and functions of rivers and their qualities and values for humans and settlements. In addition, the present study attempts to investigate the centrality of the river in public places that are based on this natural phenomenon. It is based on the empiricism paradigm and a qualitative approach, where the method of multi-case study is adopted to examine the status of theoretical concepts extracted from the literature in order to collect the necessary data for description, analysis, and comparison of the case samples along with field surveys.
 4. Results and Discussion
The present study has examined the related literature including field surveys conducted in different Iranian cities with rivers, identified, formulated, and presented the roles and functions/values and qualities of the river as environmental/ecological, physical/spatial, functional, economic, social/cultural, perceptual and psychological, legal, geographical, and other systems of study, and shown the scopes of investigation of various branches of science for them. In addition, it has introduced the multiple dimensions of rivers and indicated the necessity of overhaul and metamorphosis treatment of rivers due to their multifaceted nature after provision of the required framework within river-related branches of science. On the one hand, the study has identified the items that can be inferred as differentiating factors in river-based public places using river characteristics with logical conclusions drawn from river roles/functions/values​​/qualities. On the other hand, the findings confirm that water and its effects and characteristics (i.e. the status of the river as basis) are the most important factors used for distinguishing river-centered public places from others. Therefore, it is necessary in the planning and design of such places to consider the central features of the river and use them as components that shape the distinct personality of the place. Thus, effectiveness of the river and river-centeredness in public places with rivers as basis at sustainable place-making requires particular concern for activity and attempt, function and use, climatic comfort, economic competitiveness, social interaction, identity and culture, energy supply, education and culture, landscaping, physical and mental well-being, self-actualization, pedestrianism, meaning creation, infrastructure, appearance and landscape, internal cohesion, external cohesion, and connection with the nature.
 5. Conclusion
Playing numerous, diverse roles, rivers provide many values ​​and qualities for the settlements involving them and their inhabitants. Although Iran is located mostly in arid and semi-arid climates, many of its settlements experience the presence of small and large rivers, permanent and seasonal. Taking advantage of this opportunity and enjoying such qualities and values ​​as a competitive advantage requires a well-codified, comprehensive plan and transcendental, intelligent, creative management. The results of the research demonstrate that most of the interviewees believe that the river can be used as a public place provided that the required training is offered to users, and proper planning, design, and maintenance is established under the supervision of the government and urban management as designated domains for the river free of the risk of damaging it. Potential applications of this research include the integration of planning, design, and management of rivers, sustainable place-making and reconstruction with a focus on rivers, revision of urban development documents, and revision of the relevant laws.
The present article has been developed based on the PhD dissertation of Seyed Mojtaba Safdarnejad in Urban Planning, entitled Regeneration of Urban Rivers as Sustainable Public Places, in progress at the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Iran University of Science and Technology under supervision of Dr. Sayed Abdolhadi Daneshpour and advisory of Dr. Mustafa Behzadfar.
1. Playing various diverse roles by rivers and their abundant quality values for humans and their habitats
2- Utilizing the competitive advantage of urban rivers according to a comprehensive planning and a holistic, multi-sectoral, intelligent, and creative management
3- Necessity of paying attention to the core characteristics of the rivers and their use as character shaping components of public places based on urban rivers in planning and design process


Main Subjects

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