A comparative investigation and analysis between the neighborhood concept in the traditional urban system in Iran and its similar patterns in contemporary period

Document Type : Research Article


1 M. A. in Architecture, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor in Architecture, Staff at Department of Architecture, University of Zanjan.


Developing a suitable scale for the neighborhood in proportion to the whole city helps us better recognize and control the social dimensions of the neighborhood. Such a scale facilitates local management, self-sufficiency, integrity and social cohesion. It also develops the sense of identity and sense of belonging to place among the inhabitants. In so doing, the inhabitants and the regions can have th eir true potential fulfilled. In addition, the practitioners and those who are seeking a sustainable solution for the problems of cities such as urban decay, pollution, disturbances, and degradation of the quality of life, would be encouraged to reap the benefits mentioned above. Unfortunately, in the current urbanization development of Iran, neighborhoodism has failed to produce efficient outcomes partly due to variety of reasons such as the lack of understanding of the neighborhood or associative concepts, replacing the neighborhood patterns with the current patterns of the contemporary period, and adopting inefficient neighborhoodism system not aligned with the context. Therefore, this study is an attempt to analyze the neighborhood concept and carry out a comparative analysis between the neighborhood concept in the traditional urban system in Iran and its concept in contemporary alternative patterns. Identifying such differences in the neighborhood concept would help us better use the neighborhoodism as a solution to the above-mentioned problem.
To this end, documentary and library data were collected then analyzed through the descriptive and analytical method. Based on the results, the neighborhood is a physical-semantic concept whose purpose in the old urbanization of Iran and contemporary patterns is the same. However, the differences between them are related to the time and the process of development. In other words, the contributions of the residents to the gradual development of the neighborhood in the traditional Iranian system have given valuable cultural-historical meanings to the neighborhood and constructed its identity. In comparison, pre-designed contemporary patterns have sought to foster such values. This goal has sometimes been accomplished and sometimes not.


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