Explaining the Role of Temporary Retail Shops in the Environmental Quality of Urban Walkways

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate in Urban Planning, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina Unversity, Hamedan, Iran.

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina Unversity, Hamedan, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina Unversity, Hamedan, Iran.


Problem statement: Malls, megamalls and large shopping centers are continuously expanding and a lot of people visit these spaces everyday but despite the huge costs the construction of such spaces imposes on the city, they cannot fulfill attracting the people and do not have much prosperity due to many reasons such as social and cultural conditions. Environmental studying of temporary retail shops in urban spaces, especially walkways, is nowadays discussed and studied extensively from the socioeconomic viewpoint.
Research objective: The study aims to analyze and assess the role of establishing temporary retail shops and informal markets from the viewpoint of the beneficiary and influential groups in the changes of environmental quality in urban walkways.
Research method: This research was conducted with a qualitative approach, relying on the grounded theory methodology. The initial data were collected through continuous observation and 47 in-depth and semi-structured interviews with pedestrians, permanently-stationed shopkeepers, retailers, urban experts and managers. The interviewees commuted or did business in one of the famous walkways in the historical city of Isfahan in Iran. Then, a number of categories were extracted from the data by coding and recollecting.
Conclusion: The results highlighted seven axial codes and seven core categories for assessing retail shops within the framework of the grounded theory. The seven core categories in the assessment of the quality of urban spaces and walkways as the thematic network are social interactions, activity conformity, microscale economic mobility, multilayered perceptions, balanced visual composition, environmental suitability and targeted control.


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