Evolution of the Urban Landscape of Hamedān during First Pahlavi Era; Impacts of Piercing Streets on the City Center

Document Type : Research Article


1 M.A in Landscape Architecture, Department of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Iran.

2 Postdoc in Landscape Studies of Islamic city, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris, France


Statement of the Problem: Hamedān city, with its historical pre-Islamic history, used to have a rich traditional landscape until the Pahlavi era. Karl Frisch, a German engineer, made great changes in Hamedān’s urban landscape by constructing piercing streets. The construction of a vast square at the intersection of six piercing streets created a turning point in the landscape of Hamedān. This plan was developed in imitation of 19th Century European architecture and urban development to serve as a symbol of authority and modernity. It was like an industrial gear wheel passing through the historical texture, the center and bazaar of Hamedān. The intervention by Karl Frisch in the landscape was not aligned with what used to be practiced in the past and the amount of construction was so much as though Hamedān’s image was fundamentally transformed.
Purpose of the study: This study adopts a systematic approach to urban landscape analysis to examine the impact of piercing streets, an authoritative measure through urban management, on the urban landscape of Hamedān during the first Pahlavi era.
Method: This historical-analytical study relies on the provided data on the spatial features of Hamedān urban landscape.
Findings: Extensive changes in the urban landscape during the first Pahlavi era through the construction of streets in major cities such as Tehran, Mashhad, and Rasht reinforce this idea that urban restructuring can lead to the transformation of the urban landscape. However, the results show that such interventions in Hamedān have not changed its urban landscape in spite of the wide transformation in the physical form of the city in terms of the street architecture and the creation of new paths of access. The main reason for no changes is the consistency in identifying the same center in spite of extensive interventions.


Atashinbar, M. (2015). Impacts of Piercing Streets on Paris Urban Landscape. MANZAR, the Scientific Journal of landscape, 7(30), 54-61.
Azkaya, P. (2001). Letters` Hamedān. Hamedān: Madistan, Iran.
Anas, A. Arnott, R. & Smal, K. (1998). Urban Spatial Structure. Journal of Economic Literature, 36(3), 1426-1464.
Asadollahi, M. & Zakerhaghighi, K. (2015). Investigation and Analysis of Spatial Structure of Metropolitan Hamedān Using Alen Bertod Model. WALIA Journal, 31(2), 67-73.
Ballard, P. (2005). The Church at the Centre of the City. The Expository Times, 116(8), 253-258.
Banister, D. (1992). Energy Use, Transport and Settlement Patterns. Sustainable Development and Urban Form,
Banbak. (2018). The central square of Hamedān the symbol of modern urbanism. Retrieved from http://www.banbak.com/Hamedān-imam-square/.
Bertaud, A. (2004). The Spatial Organization of Cities: Deliberate Outcome or Unforeseen Consequence? UC Berkeley: Institute of Urban and Regional Development.
Burrough, P. A. & Frank, A. U.(1996). Geographic Objects with Indeterminate Boundaries. London: Taylor and Francis.
Caves, R. W. (2005). Encyclopedia of the City. London and New York: Routledge.
Collis, C. Berkeley, N. & Fletcher, D. R.(2000). Retail Decline and Policy Responses in District Shopping Centres. Town Planning Review, 71(2), 149-168.
ECOTEC Research and Consulting Limited. (1993). Ecotec Research and Consulting Limited. London: HMSO.
Evans, R. (1997). Regenerating Town Centers. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Fendereski, S.R. (1978). The Islamic revolution in Hamedān. Etelaat Newspaper, 22 November, 1. Retrieved from http /22bahman.ir/show.php?page=post&id=15399.
Ganj News Agency. (2015). Bold backup line. Available at: ganj.info/slider/slider-jehad/4268 (Accessed 20 Nov. 2018).
Heath, T. (2001). Revitalizing Cities:Attitudes toward City-Center Living in the United Kingdom. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 20(4), 464-475.
Izadi, M. & Sharifi, A. (2015). Evaluating Karl Frisch’s design on spatial structure configuration concerning old contexture in Hamedān (using space syntax technique). Bagh- e Nazar, 12(35), 15-26.
Hemmaty, A. E. & Khaksar. A, (2013). A view of Hegmatane hills in the context of Hamedān City. In: Conference of archaeological Hegmatane, Tehran, Iran, 23 December, pp. 139-148. Iran: Iranian cultural Heritage, Handcraft, and Tourism Organization.
Karami, S. Fakhrayee, A. & Karami, S. (2015). Studying the Effect of Accessibility and Vitality on Urban Space Efficiency in Iran (Case Study: Hamedān City). International Journal of Architecture and Urban Development, 5(1), 33-40.
Rahimioon, A.A. (2016). In reaching the identity of Hamedān City. Hamedān: Ministry of Roads and Urban Development Islamic Republic of Iran.
Le Strange, G. (1981). The Lands of the Eastern Caliphate. [s.l]: Cosimo Classics.
Mansouri, S.A. (2007). Spatial organization of Iranian city in tow periods: before and after Islam based on testimonies of evaluations of the city of Kerman. Bagh- E Nazar, 4(7), 50-60.
Mansouri, S. (2013). The Spatial System in the Islamic City of Iran. Journal of Art and Civilization of the Orient, 1(1), 51-62.
Mansouri, S. & Dizani E. (2016). The evolution of spatial system of the city of Qazvin. Tehran: Nazar research center.
Metraghchi, M. (2000). Beyani Menazil. Tehran: Cultural Heritage Organization of Islamic Republic of Iran.
Mokhles, F. (2017). The Muti-Nucleus Structure of Moroccan Medinas. Journal of Art and Civilization of the Orient, 5(16), 15-22.
Murphy, R. E. & Vancem J. E. (1954). Delimiting the CBD. Economic Geography, 30(3), 189-222.
Nejad, S. E. & Ebrahimi, A. (2018). Form worn-out texture to improvement and reconstruction. Herald National Academy of Managerial Staff of Culture and Arts, (2)1, 189-196.
Newman, P. (1992). The Compact City: An Australian Perspective. Built Environment, 18(4), 285-300.
Newman, P. W. G. & Kenworthy, J. R. (1989). Gasoline Consumption and Cities. Journal of the American Planning Association, 55(1), 24-37.
Safari, S., Sheikhnouri, M.A. & Yousefi S.H. (2014). People’s protest for urban renewal during the first Pahlavi era (studing documents of the National Assembly of Parliament – Sixth to eighth Majles). Social history studies, Humanities research, and cultural studies, 4(1), 29-60.
Portas, M. (2014). Why Our High Streets Still Matter: A Think Piece. London: Portas Agency.
Powe, N. & Hart, T. (2009). Competing for the custom of small town residents: exploring the challenges and potential. International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 37(9), 732-747.
Tasnim news agency. (2016). Ashura Noon mourning ceremony in Hamedān. Retrieved from https://tn.ai/1210802. (Accessed 28 Sep. 2018).
Thompson, J., Benson, M. & McDonagh, P. (2015). The Social and Economic Impact of Improving a Town Centre: The Case of Rotherham. Local Economy 30( 2), 231-348.
Thurstain-Goodwin. M, & Unwin. Davidm. (2000). Defining and Delineating the Central Areas of Towns for Statistical Monitoring Using Continuous Surface Representations. Transactions in GIS, 4(4), 305-317.
Tyrwhitt, J. Sert J., L. & Rogers, E. N. (1952). The Heart of the City: Towards the Humanization of Urban Life. London: Lund Humphries.
Varmazyar, M. & Sajadzadeh, H. (2014). The Role of Urban Structure in Pedestrian-Orientation Capability (Case Study: Hamedān City). Merit Research Journals, 2(4), 48-64.
Zarei, M.I. (2011). The physical-space structure of the Hamedān city from the beginning of the Islamic era to the end of the Qajar era based on the evidence. Archaeologist’s letter, 1(1), 57-82.