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Sustaining the Social Memory in a Historic Neighborhood: The Case Study of Uch Dukkan Neighborhood in Ardabil City in Azerbaijani Region of Iran

Authors: Yousef Daneshvar Rouyandozagh, Ece. K. Açikgöz


Conservation of historical urban patterns in the traditional neighborhoods is a part of creating integrated urban environments that are socially more sustainable. Urbanization reflects on life conditions and social, physical, economical characteristics of the society. In this regard, historical zones and traditional regions are affected by dramatic interventions on these characteristics. This article focuses on the Uch Dukkan neighborhood located in Ardabil City in Azarbaijani region of Iran, which has been up to such interventions that leaded its transformation from the past to the present. After introducing a brief inventory of the main elements of the historical zone and the neighborhood; this study explores the changes and transformations in different periods; and their impacts on the quality of the environment and its social sustainability. The survey conducted in the neighborhood as part of this research study revealed that the Uch Dukkan neighborhood and the unique architectural heritage that it possesses have become more inactive physically and functionally in a decade. This condition requires an exploration and comparison of the present and the expected transformations of the meaning of social space from the most private unit to the urban scale. From this token, it is argued that an architectural point of view that is based on space order; use and meaning of space as a social and cultural image, should not be ignored. Based on the interplay between social sustainability, collective memory, and the urban environment, study aims to make the invisible portion of ignorance clear, that ends up with a weakness in defining the collective meaning of the neighborhood as a historic urban district. It reveals that the spatial possessions of the neighborhood are valuable not only for their historical and physical characteristics, but also for their social memory that is to be remembered and constructed further.

Keywords: Urban integrity, social sustainability, collective memory, social decay.

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