From Bazaar to Shopping Centers: Analysis of the Evolution of Modern Commercial Spaces in Tehran

Document Type : Research Article


urbanism , Department of urbanism and architecture , University of Mazandaran.


Impacts of modernism on urban spaces can be observed in specific historic periods of Iran cities. This issue is
important because these public spaces have undergone scale and performance alternations. Tehran, as the capital of
country and as the showcase of alternations, has been the symbol of modern city and today is exposed to increasingly
accelerated changes. As one of public spaces types, commercial spaces have concurred Tehran and dominated other
functionalities. Due to increasing application of commercial spaces, this paper studied their development trend from
traditional bazars to specialized markets, centralized stores, malls and the like. Therefore, the aim of this study is to
investigate the growth and development trend of commercial spaces in Tehran. This is a qualitative and descriptiveanalytical
research in which data collection tools such as documentation, library and field surveys such as noncooperative
observation were employed throughout the city. ArcGIS software was applied for results’ analysis. For
showing the spatial development trend of commercial spaces in different periods, maps were used. The results of study
revealed formation of different commercial centers from the beginning of contemporary era in different forms which
can be classified into several groups. First, the commercial centers and commercial units of Tehran were in the form
of single-core units and then linearly developed around the central cores (streets and new markets); afterwards; they
exhibited themselves in the format of new specialized markets. Spatial forms of this functionality in Tehran, from
traditional form of bazar in the center to specialized markets in the surrounding regions of Tehran, reflect increasing
demand for these spaces and also shortage of growth space. The results also revealed that formation of these markets,
regarding spatial limitations in Tehran, will be enhanced in the surrounding areas of Tehran. Spatial alternations of
commercial applications in the cities highlight the role of urban planning and introduce commercial application as a
crucial driving force in formation of cities.


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