Locating Sustainable Residential Complex in Central Zone of Yazd City Using the ANP Method

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D Student of Urban Planning, Faculty of Art, University of Tarbiat Modares, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor of Urban Planning, Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran Tehran, Iran.


Nowadays, sustainable urban development has become a major concern in residential neighborhood planning. To this end, smart growth theory, as a theory of urban planning, has defined against the urban sprawl and growth of suburban houses and neighborhoods. In fact, Smart Growth focuses on compact development and defines new policies in urban planning to reconstruct central zone of the cities. The city of Yazd has faced remarkable urban sprawl in recent decades. This problem is one of the main factors to destruct gardens and the surrounding farmlands. Moreover, it decreases the quality of the residential environment in the city center. According to the importance of protecting green spaces, especially in the desert cities, and the need to preserve and restore the historic district of Yazd, residential planning can prepare sustainable development in this district. The aim of this study purpose is site selection for residential complexes in the central zone of Yazd which is based on sustainable development criteria. Hypothesis of the research is: “brown fields and unused spaces in the historical zone, which are in vicinity of main streets, have more potential to develop sustainable residential complexes”. Research of the study is based on analytical and explorative methods for site selection using ANP technique. Accordingly, this paper, at first, surveys the history and importance of locating in urban planning, then, explains the features of sustainable housing planning considering the available practices and theories. Site selection process is an action that analyzes potential of adequate land for specific applications in a region or district. Indicators used in site selection are different in various positions, but all have a certain range. Most site selection theories try to define the influencing factors on deployment of space activities in urban spaces by using different techniques. The point that should be noted about the site selection theory and structure of the city is that all are based on the principles of market mechanisms. There are two main factors in determining any kind of site selection, or any type of urban land uses, social and economic welfare. On the basis of these factors, six criteria, compatibility, comfort, performance, utility, health and safety standards, urban land use is defined. On a global scale, in terms of theory and practice, the principles and criteria for sustainable urban development can be discussed and analyzed within the scale of neighborhoods and residential environment. Findings of this study show that, there are generally four major factors for site selection of sustainable residential complex in cities, social and cultural, environmental physical, public services and economical-Legal. These factors are divided into several sub-criteria under certain conditions. Social-cultural factor is divided into four criteria of “social activities and playing areas for children”, “accessibility to CBD and public spaces in the city”, “safety, security and tranquility of neighborhood,” and” social compatible neighborhoods”. Environmental-physical factor is also considered in four sub-criteria: “necessary spaces for crisis management”, “providing green space,” “beautiful landscape” and “appropriate space for parking”. Furthermore, public services factor is classified into three groups (sub-criteria): “access to essential and major shopping centers”, “access to educational and cultural center” and “access to street”. Finally, legal–economical factor is divided into two sub-criteria: “affordable land and housing” and “legal condition of the land”. Findings of the study also show that the biggest problem affecting un-sustainability of housing and inhabitants is inadequate access to services in central zone of Yazd (public services factor). Other factors in the order of priority are social-cultural, environmental– physical- and legal–economical. It shows that this factor must be considered as the most important factor in site selection and ensuring sustainability of housing in this area. The surveys show (based on the interviews) that “accessibility to street” criterion among other sub criteria of public services is the most important problem of the residents in central and historical zone of Yazd. Other problems can be mentioned such as: absence or scarcity of public space (especially open space for children’s entertainment and playing), lack of security, safety and tranquility in the neighborhoods of the historical zone and shortage of green space. The final findings of the investigation prove validity of the proposed hypothesis. Calculations, based on the ANP method, show that, even though there are 13 factors for site selection of sustainable residential complexes, only five factors are more important. These factors are “proximity to city center and public spaces,” “access to a roadway”, “access to major shopping centers”, “ affordable land”, and “lack or low land rights “. Finally, among the 18 suitable lands selected for development purpose, an appropriate location was chosen using the ANP method. This space, in accordance with the hypothesis, has less economic and legal problems, in comparison with the rest, because of proximity to the main street service center.


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