Evaluation of the Interface Areas of the Cities’ Entrances Based On the Quality Standards, Case Study: The Surrounding Region of the Old Core of the City Of Karaj

Document Type : Original Article


1 M. A. Student in Urban Design, Faculty of Art, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor of Urban Design, Faculty of Art, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Ph.D Candidate, Faculty of Environment, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.


Nowadays, in some urban projects in Iran that are aimed, solely, at improving the quality of the urban spaces, development and growth are seen in which no attention has been paid to the overall state of the city in terms of space, connectivity between the old and the new segments of the city and unity. Moreover, modern interventions such as comprehensive and detailed urban plans, projects for the widening the passages and, the adverse consequences in the scale of the spatial framework and the physical organization of the cities has been accompanied. Some of these consequences are as follows: harming the environmental resources such as destroying the agricultural lands due the weed-like spread of the cities which has been formed in the form of low-density developments. In the past, the most important urban spaces in our country were city entrances. However, today because of the expansion of the city and city life either the entrance of the modern cities are designed and built without any proper planning or by passage of time have been destroyed. Therefore, paying attention to the components of the environmental quality that is expected from the cities entrances and the main intermediate space connecting the city to the area outside the city boundaries and studies that should be done at this level offer ways that can improve this section of the city. Considering the lack of attention of some the urban projects to natural-historic features and potentials of the city in offering designs which result in inefficiencies in urban life, it seems proper to use these potentials for increasing the quality of environment and identity of the city is an essential and vital issue. The old core of the city of Karaj is considered one of the particular zones which natural and epochal identity؛possesses both natural and historical elements. Presence of natural and epochal identity in this zone, gives it a specific uniqueness. Using the expressed potentials optimally can play an important role in the identity of the City of Karaj. In addition the river and the eastern hills, what marks the framework of the city of Karaj is the street of Shahid Beheshti. In the eastern part of the street of Shahid Beheshti, the Karaj River and its banks is considered to be one of the especial natural opportunities for expanding the green open and fun spaces. Moreover, the existence of the historical attractions such as the Shah Abbasi Bridge, Samsam Castle, Shah Abbasi Caravanseray and major cultural- entertainment land uses such as Chamran cinema and old park with a matchless and unique view of the city of Karaj and Commercial land uses of Shahid Beheshti Street represent a major potentials for establishing a good association between these elements and, consequently, improving and enhancing the performance of the east gateway and the framework of the city of Karaj. Therefore, in this study, to enhance the efficiency of the cities’ gateways, Quality Criteria in the interface areas which are located at the old entrance of Karaj city (Beheshti Street and the adjacent path to the Karaj River) are investigated and the results will show the effect of each mentioned spaces in organizing the city entrance. To achieve each of
these quality Criteria, a set of factors that are useful in environmental design of city’s entrance in terms of physical and social aspect. After considering the mentioned qualities and using the AHP evaluation method, the criteria’s strength and quality were studied. Using the mentioned criteria in Karaj, the quality of Shahid Beheshti Street and the surrounding area were investigated in order to functionally improve the old gateway of the city. Finally, by providing strategies and the presenting integrated design solutions, it is expected to be able to provide a context for strengthening them and their physicalfunctional relationship based on paying attention to the natural-historical structures. Some of the presented general guidelines in the studied zone are as follows:
- Conserving and developing the historical values by planning the urban gateway as set with the cultural _ historic functionality in the surrounding Shah Abbasi bridge and Samsam castle and also protecting the natural values such as the rivers and the irrigation channels;
- Creating and expanding the walkway network in the entire zone and planning for specific ecotourism axis on the banks of the river along with using the corridors and the networks between the historical elements;
- Restricting the use of car and emphasizing on the walkway axis in the major second degree axis and the local streets in this zone. Furthermore, it is recommended to enhance the quality of the expressed zone in the city of Karaj in order to improve the urban design projects on the banks of the Karaj River and to define the Urban Design of the intersection of Imam square in the Karaj City Hall.


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