An Evaluation of Persian-Speaking Researchers’ Description and Interpretations of the Spatial Organization of Cities

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, University of Tehran, NAZAR Research Center, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Candidate in Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: In recent decades, the growth of urban science has turned the interpretation of the city into a challenging issue for researchers. The emergence of the spatial organization of cities has been the result of extensive studies carried out by researchers for the interpretation of cities. Despite a lot of attempts for identifying the organizational components of the city and their relations, there is no consensus among researchers and experts on the definition of the spatial organization of cities in urban sciences and this term is still vague. The multiple definitions with different expressions, words and attributes have generated multiple meanings in the Iranian urban planning literature. Such multiplicity makes it impossible for experts and scholars to discuss a single subject and reach a precise conclusion.
Research objective: For this purpose, this research seeks to criticize the meanings and structure of the definitions, to present the pathology associated with the definitions and to identify their existing shortcomings. In so doing, this study serves as a springboard for future research on semantic expansion.
Research method: Data for this study were analyzed and categorized in terms of semantic and structure through content analysis.
Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate the multiplicity of this concept in terms of meanings and show the plurality of appellations, attributes. It also shows the definitions do not follow the maxims of logic and there is an internal contradiction in the definitions. Examination of the definitions also reveals that sometimes this term is interchangeably used with other different terms such as urban structure in urban literature. Besides, the analysis of the structures of the proposed definitions indicates that they are too incomprehensive to include all the attributes of the concept and they are too exclusive to differentiate it from similar concepts. This indicates the semantic ambiguity of this concept in the minds of Persian-speaking scholars.


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