Volume 5, Issue 1 (2015)                   BSNT 2015, 5(1): 17-25 | Back to browse issues page

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Daneshpour A, Shiri E. Physical-Functional Components Comprising the Identity of Historical Texture of Iranian-Islamic City. BSNT. 2015; 5 (1) :17-25
URL: http://journals.modares.ac.ir/article-2-8084-en.html
Abstract:   (3657 Views)
Historical texture of Islamic city, with its latent physical and cultural value, has high degree of identity; hence, maintaining historical texture is considered as an essential identity for survival of cities. In fact, identity is the response to what is and who is, that identifies individual characteristic results from mental emotions of daily presence and expanded social communication. In other words, identity is a phenomenon which takes place in historical context of community. Over the time, the sense of identity is internalized within individuals, leads their behavior and finally integrates the community. Behavioral unity created at society level seeks for a framework to satisfy the behavioral and mental needs of individual and society. With its specific ideology, Islamic city demands special behavior performable in its specific framework. Modern cities are suffering from identity crises, because of basic changes of the cities without any link to the past. One of the reasons of identity crises in modern cities is inefficacity of historical textures. Inevitably, the changes will happen over the time, hence, continuity along with changes that allows relationship between past and present will balance these changes. This is a qualitative, descriptive-analytical study, reviewing constituent components of historical texture identity of Islamic-Iranian cities in order to deal with identity loss of these textures. The data collection method was based on library and historical documents. Evaluation and study of historical texture structure of Iranian cities indicate that historical textures of cities are treasures of history and culture of the ancients in their identity are influenced by Islamic urbanization identity. However, these textures are considered as documents of history, culture and identity of a nation, therefore, identification of this valuable heritage enables recognition of identity and movement of human. In other words, it can be stated that “old urban textures are creative and dynamic place to find out position of human in the world and his connection with the past, a place for environmental changes and a different view to the life of future and now.” Generally, the main characteristic of physical structure of old Iranian- Islamic city can be summarized in spatial coherence principal: physical organizations of old Iranian cities are based on spatial connection between elements of: 1) downtown, 2) neighborhood center through spaces and connecting elements, 3) main paths, and 4) square. Referring to historical texture of Iranian cities, it is obvious that formation and maintenance of them were based on special principles of Iranian climate and culture, and their framework has been consistent through historical, cultural, social and environmental continuity. Therefore, it has special identity and characteristic. Studies show that the main formation elements of historical texture of Iranian-Islamic city’s identity include citadel, great mosque, market, residential areas and road network. Citadel was a collection of buildings and governmental organization of city and headquarters of the ruler with spatial relation to the market and great mosque. Great mosque was built in a proper place as a politic religious center, the center of city’s sacred person and under his influence. The shape and dimensions of mosque land was dependent to the facilities of texture around it and the needs of internal development, its external form had its special pattern and form. Every city had at least one linear market that begun from the gate and continued to the center of city and ended around the great mosque. The local places of Iranian-Islamic city had special geographical unity. Deadend allies, allies, paths and neighborhood centers gave entity to neighborhood. The neighborhood consists of residential houses, allies, public facilities of neighborhood center such as mosques, local markets and bathrooms, reservoir and cafes. Connection network is formed organically around the old texture of Iranian city according to formation of past functions and taking into account the human scale. The main characteristics of connection network structure of old neighborhoods include short access and in pedestrian scale with significant social role, complexity of paths according to climatic condition and urban security. In general, it can be stated that citadel, great mosque and market were the three main principles of an Iranian-Islamic city. Great mosque was the main physical element of an Islamic city and market was the symbol of traditional architecture and urbanization of Iran which had the main role in city. In Iranian-Islamic cities’ places such as great mosque, market and center of government, houses etc. not only maintained their own places and special characters in urban space hierarchy and played their own roles, but also formed a united collection together that spatially shows the city as a coherenceentity. Coherence and correlation between spatial elements and their activities in historical texture of Iran cause these textures to seem a coherent entity and as a manifestation of identity. On the other hand, spatial values of these cities are formed by continuity and physical and observational quality of urban spaces. For confronting identity loss in historical textures, a nostalgic view to the history should be put aside and accept the changes during the time. Change is an inseparable matter that can lead to sustainable identity along with continuity. Identity revival of historical textures of Iranian-Islamic city is maintaining cultural continuity at present, past and future of the city. This cultural continuity which is accessible through recognition of concepts and organizational principles of urban spaces in historical cities of Iran and implementation of them in new urban space design, gives identity and authenticity to society. The present study is seeking to evaluate the constituent elements of mentioned textures through recognition of identity nature. Reviewing constituent elements of traditional Islamic cities, we want to find a way to help environment respond the needs of the time, as well as be in consistency with historical form and space.
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Received: 2015/10/13 | Accepted: 2015/03/21 | Published: 2015/10/13

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