Appropriateness of the Historic Gardens for Urban Agriculture Development in Birjand City (Iran)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor and Faculty Member, Department of Handicrafts, University of Birjand, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor and Faculty Member, Department of Archeology, University of Birjand, Iran.


Problem statement: One of the historic capabilities of Birjand city (East of Iran) is the existence of a large number of historic gardens that, despite the great importance from the perspective of landscape architecture, sufficient attention has not yet been given to the gardens from the viewpoint of landscape planning. One of the newest global approaches to historic gardens is the revival of agricultural and productive capabilities of gardens through methods and approaches called urban agriculture. While urban agriculture encompasses the tangible edible heritage of urban gardens, it also prioritizes engaging civil society in agricultural activities. In urban agriculture, in addition to the owners of the gardens, urban dwellers benefit greatly from the collective gardening in the urban gardens.
Research objective: This study attempts to identify the strengths and weaknesses of Birjand's historic gardens for the development of urban agriculture, and therefore seeks to answer the following question: Are Birjand's historic gardens appropriate for urban agricultural development?
Research method: The research method in this study is analytical-descriptive and main data were collected from bibliographic databases and through interviews with garden managers, experts, consultants, and some gardeners about 11 historic gardens. In addition, field studies in historic gardens have been conducted by the authors. Questionnaires were also used to collect the data including physical facilities of gardens, agricultural production activities in gardens, agricultural and horticultural objectives, marketing of horticultural products, and agricultural economics.
Conclusion: The results show that a large part of the area of Birjand's historic gardens is dedicated to agricultural activities. According to the findings of this study, historic gardens have the potential to create opportunities for public participation in the production, training, and consumption of agricultural and horticultural products. A combination of different goals, whether commercial, educational, social, therapeutic, or environmental, can be the key to the success of place-making of the historic gardens through urban agriculture. According to this strategy, the historic garden can be a place for interaction between different groups and users. Therefore, the formation of Continuous Productive Urban Landscapes (CPULs) depends on the strategy of public participation and involving citizens in the re-planning of historic gardens for the development of the edible public green space so that all gardens, whether private, public, or endowed, would be places for the presence and participation of citizens in the development of urban agriculture.


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