عنوان مقاله [English]
This article is a part of research conducted to develop criteria and site selection techniques for creating urban spaces, appropriate for holding festivals, carnivals and outdoor performances. The significance of such a research is an attempt to bridge the existing gap between urban planning literature, particularly site selection of urban spaces, and experiences related to outdoor events and performances. After unsuccessful experience of Modernist, urban planning in the mid-decades of 20th century, scholars have emphasized how crucial it is to create and enhance lively, diverse and flexible urban spaces to achieve vital qualities such as livability, sense of belonging, collective memories and identity in our cities.
In this article, different forms and functions of festivals, carnivals and outdoor performances are reviewed, and the interaction between them and urban spaces and site selection process were assessed. In addition, to mitigate the lack of enough related resources in Iran, certain interviews were conducted with Iranian academics, expert in the fields of urban planning, music and dramatic arts. Festival is a word which has a happy connotation but in reality, it could be used for either joyful or gloomy occasions. Today, such events take the shape of a celebration which are quite popular and mostly have religious and ceremonial roots. In Iran, such events include Nowruz celebrations which takes place every year at the beginning of Spring. Other such celebration, which corresponds with the victory of Islamic revolution in Iran, includes not only gathering of people in streets of most cities, but also formal events such as the Fajr Film and Theater Festival in Tehran similar to Oscar Academy Awards in the US or the Cannes Film Festivals in France. Performance Art, which is a combination of visual and everyday culture and folklore, includes outdoor performance and street theater as well as processional performances in Iranian cities. The mourning, weeping and lamentation ceremonies of Ashura, which takes place every year on the day of martyrdom of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, is a mournful event but could be considered as a processional performance. In all, elevating the spirit of collectiveness and the sense of belonging could be a major goal of such events. Regarding to research methodology, the data gathered from the interviews on the three main concepts, i.e. Festivals, Carnivals and Outdoor Performance Arts, were analyzed using the “Framework Analysis” method. In regards to the “Framework Analysis” method used here, we have coded the responses from the respondents not only based on the contents of their answers but also with a focus on the themes which exist in the text of responses. The reason for this is that the respondents may respond to a question but may also deal with or refer to other issues not related directly to the question at hand or may answer a particular question while answering another question. Overall, the result of such method is a qualitative analysis which, together with the theoretical review of urban planning texts, led us to the local criteria for site selection of the needed spaces. Eventually, all the findings of research studies have been analyzed on the basis of qualitative and deductive reasoning methods, and then the theoretical framework of this thesis was developed as a prescriptive theory, in which the “square” is pinpointed as the appropriate type of urban space, consistent with the goals of this research. For festivals, our respondents consider it as an opportunity for attracting tourists while increasing the quality of urban spaces through colorful and happy spaces. For this, using the time of the year which the weather is considered best such as in spring is important. The shape of the space could be either focal or linear but it needs to be in previously designated areas, secure, and with easy access through public transportation. Those urban spaces which are considered as having collective memory for the urban dwellers have priority over other spaces. For outdoor performances, street theater is seen by the respondents as a way of elevating the culture of participation among city dwellers. The urban space for such event needs to have circular shape in order to create the focal point needed for the gatherings. Other than this, street circus is also considered as the outdoor performance in Iranian cities. On the other hand, processions or caravan type of performance, being a means of attracting tourists, should take place preferably in holidays when the street traffic is less. The urban spaces needed for such events are linear but they need to have a sufficient width to hold by passers and viewers who stand to the sides of the procession. Also, three categories of criteria, i.e. “limitative criteria” (with Boolean logic), “preference criteria” (with Fuzzy logic) and “applicative criteria” are developed as the necessary criteria of site selecting such urban spaces. In this paper, the dimensions of focal urban spaces are presented.