Role of Integration of Green Spaces in Bestowing Natural Identity to a City, Case Study: Shahrekord

Document Type : Original Article


Associate Professor in Urban Planning, School of Architecture and Environmental Design, Iran University of Science & Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Human being needs to follow the principles of sustainable development guideline to eliminate his/her needs. One of the most important indicators of sustainable development is urban identity and authenticity. One could claim that urban identity is going toward sustainable development when it’s comprehensive. Therefore, fair distribution of facilities between generation and within generation is an important issue to help realize this goal. The relationship between man and nature is an essential part of the city’s identity. Furthermore, understanding the needs of urban residents, view analysis, location finding, and noting the importance of artificial identity of the city are very important factors. Green space is one of the most important tools for giving identity to a city. Its fair distribution can meet the needs of all residents and satisfy them. Therefore, recognition and evaluation of urban spatial patterns of green spaces in urban planning and designing is of great importance. In modern approaches to urban planning, not only existence of green spaces is valuable, but its distribution in various regions and the city’s connection with its surrounding nature, play a vital role in stability of the urban spaces. This lack of awareness of its benefits has caused destruction, separation and finally, inefficiency of the green spaces in different areas. In fact, management of the urban green spaces is a very important factor. Having accurate programs and policies and using scientific methods in these researches are vital prerequisites for maintaining and developing urban green spaces. Doing researches and experiments on site selection and development of these spaces, so that the climatic distinction of the area can promote the desired quantity and quality of habitats, seems essential. Different phases of this research involve study of the past historical documents, interviews, collecting information, reviewing role of the natural elements in urban identity, reviews of existing natural resources, preserving and creating green space requirements, exploring the shortcomings and analyzing and providing appropriate solutions. In this study, it is tried to find a fair way for the city’s natural identity to keep pace with its sustainable development. Due to its coherent texture of natural and environmental diversity in the past, Shahrekord was selected as the case study. According To the previous researches on Shahrekord’s urban identity, this city was known as a green city with a pristine nature. Looking through the past status of the city, factors such as water resources, pastures, cultural grounds, forest and arboreal areas have been given more attentions as they make its natural identity structure. In this article, Shahrekord’s previous structures in different periods have been investigated to find out the role of the identical elements of the city. Having known about the available green spaces of the area by using data which was collected over the past years, referring to the aerial photos of the green spaces and with the help of mental maps of the city’s residents, elements of the city’s identity has been identified. Shahrekord and its surrounding areas’ green spaces have been compared from 1971 to 2011. Many of the fountains, streams and natural water canals, as well as the green canyons and high quality soil grounds which used to be part of its natural elements have been destroyed. This has taken place either because of neglecting the natural structure of the city or losing their main use and being converted to nugatory places with no identity. The process of expanding the city in previous years has reduced its green spaces, both in the city and its surroundings areas. Increased construction is now a real threat for the city’s natural identity. It seems that integrity of urban green areas and observing the location requirements has helped natural perspective of the city. They also have major role in promoting efficient urban spaces and natural identity of Shahrekord. Proper urban planning can be the best way to obtain city’s ecological territory. Therefore, some guidance on maintaining the continuity of green spaces has been presented to promote the city’s natural identity. Finding suitable location for expanding the city in the future, using appropriate models, creating green centers, in or out of the city, constructing natural lakes, permanent or seasonal, constructing rental gardens in the suitable locations, extending suitable walking and jogging tracks, especially in parks and other urban green spaces, are a few of the suggested solutions.


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