ISSN: 2717-4417

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.

2 Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Art & Architecture, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, Iran.



- The development of the Internet and electronic services contributes to the sustainability and resilience of cities against epidemics.
- Provision of neighborhood-scale land uses, especially green spaces and sports, is the first priority in the city of Kermanshah, Iran in the face of epidemics.
- The approaches of integrated urban management, digital cities, orientation toward the neighborhood, and social capital have a key role in promotion of resilience in Kermanshah.
The worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 since the end of 2019 can be considered as one of the biggest challenges in recent decades, which has caused the issue of epidemic diseases to assume a prominent position in the atlas of natural and artificial hazards. The high rate of spread, high mortality rates, and severe damage to various economic and social sectors of societies indicates the importance of considering this key issue. According to the World Health Organization, the coronavirus epidemic is a global crisis that is unique in contemporary history in terms of spatial extent, onset rate, and complexity. Therefore, the present study has sought to answer the following question: which urban resilience variables are associated with higher priority in the struggle against epidemic diseases in the city of Kermanshah, Iran?
Theoretical Framework
A community’s resilience to potential contingencies is determined by the degree to which it can access the required resources and its capability of organizing itself both in advance and when needed. Accordingly, a resilient community is one that functions prudently in reduction of risk, preparation for the various effects of risk, and acceleration of recovery from hazardous events.
Following the outbreak of Covid-19, it became clear that urban resilience extends beyond climate, landscape, ecology, and natural disasters. To raise the capability of an urban environment, therefore, such shocks need to be absorbed without significant changes in its structure or function. Hence, urban planners must seek to answer such questions as why urban planning has been inactive in control of the coronavirus epidemic crisis, and whether the concentration and distribution of population and activity has made city dwellers more vulnerable to diseases, terrorist attacks, and artificial and natural disasters. The answers to these questions are essential because there is ample evidence about the influence of urban form and design on the prevalence of epidemics.
The present applied research involved interpretive description. The required information was collected in two ways: through library studies and questionnaires. For collection of data and identification of the initial variables through a review of various study sources, nineteen variables were finally selected for evaluation. After the variables were compiled, the studied sample was analyzed by the elite.
Since the Micmac software was used to analyze the data, the questionnaire involved a matrix of cross-adjustment effects, and was validated by experts. The data input to Micmac were obtained using the Delphi method and a questionnaire distributed among fifteen experts familiar with the conditions in Kermanshah (ten people with doctorate degrees and five with master’s degrees). In order to increase the validity of the data, prerequisites were considered such as explanation of the conceptual model based on the latest scientific research, the experts’ acquaintance with the case study, reception of the experts’ feedback about the final results, and independency of the experts.
Results and Discussion
The present study analyzed the influence of urban resilience against epidemics on the basis of nineteen variables. The findings demonstrated that the following variables had the greatest direct and indirect impacts on the other variables involved in resilience in Kermanshah in the face of Covid-19: the infrastructure for remote provision of professional, administrative, academic, and medical services, access to green and open spaces and recreation-and-sports land uses, access to services and neighborhood scale uses, capacity of urban facilities and equipment such as the electricity network and Internet, and unified, integrated management in crisis conditions. Moreover, the two variables capacity of neighborhoods for walking and cycling and enhancement of local communities’ public participation and social capital exhibited a two-dimensional nature in the issue of resilience in Kermanshah. This means that these variables are affected by others while greatly influencing them.
Based on the factors identified as drivers, suggestions should be made for their promotion. Therefore, four macro approaches were mentioned as priority plans through adaption of the driving factors to what had been proposed in previous studies, including integrated urban management, the digital city, orientation toward the neighborhood, and social capital. In fact, one can implicitly achieve urban resilience against epidemic diseases by placing such approaches at the forefront of the urban planning system.
The four proposed approaches are important because the synergy of measures taken in the public and private sectors is expected to improve and prevent waste of time and financial and human resources, aided by integrated urban management. Enhancement of the role of the digital city is important not only for provision of tools for identification and control of carriers of disease but also for better reduction of physical contact through telecommuting capacity, e-learning, online shopping, etc. Orientation toward the neighborhood is also considered significant as it reduces  long inter-neighborhood commute by meeting citizens’ daily and weekly needs on a neighborhood scale. In addition, if urban neighborhoods are properly designed, achievements such as pedestrianization and access to green and open spaces will be realized, which will play a key role in residents’ mental and physical health during quarantine. The impact of social capital is also important because epidemics can be managed only through the people’s empathy and collective will. In fact, as the disease spreads among the people, their support and participation can undeniably help to control it.


Main Subjects

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