The Contribution of Water to the Morphology of the Historic Qazvin City (Qajar Era)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Urban Planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning , Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad university, Qazvin , Iran.

2 Professor of Urban Planning, Faculty of Prban Planning and Architecture , University of Tarbiat Modaress, Tehran, Iran.

3 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin Branch, Islamic Azad university, Qazvin, Iran

4 Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: Even though the dearth of water has long been a permanent challenge in Iran, a large majority of Iranian cities have managed to survive by harvesting underground water through the Qanat system. All these cities share some special features in terms of urban morphology and their traditional water infrastructures have influenced their urban texture to a large extent. Of these cities, the historic city of Qazvin has been selected as a case study.
Research objective: This study attempts to examine the contribution of water to urban morphological elements. Since water as a natural element of the urban context determines urban forms (street, plot and building systems), this study seeks to identify such effects on these systems.
Research method: The historic city of Qazvin was selected as the research site. Data related to the elements of the urban form of this city in the Qajar era were collected through field observation and interviews with old citizens of Qazvin and experts. Also, relevant documents were examined and analyzed. For data analysis, related software programs were used.
Conclusion: Examining the presence of water in four elements of urban forms shows that water as an independent factor has had a large effect on urban morphology. It mainly affects street systems but this effect for building systems was much lesser. However, this effect on the plot systems has been very slight. Overlooking this effect while carrying out intervention in the historic urban texture might lead to some misunderstanding and result in an incorrect decision in the historic urban texture.


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