Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32727
Investigating Elements of Identity of Traditional Neighborhoods in Isfahan and Using These Elements in the Design of Modern Neighborhoods

Authors: Saman Keshavarzi


The process of planning, designing and building neighborhoods is a complex and multidimensional part of urban planning. Understanding the elements that give a neighborhood a sense of identity can lead to successful city planning and result in a cohesive and functional community where people feel a sense of belonging. These factors are important in ensuring that the needs of the urban population are met to live in a safe, pleasant and healthy society. This research paper aims to identify the elements of the identity of traditional neighborhoods in Isfahan and analyzes ways of using these elements in the design of modern neighborhoods to increase social interaction between communities and cultural reunification of people. The neighborhood of Jolfa in Isfahan has a unique socio-cultural identity as it dates back to the Safavid Dynasty of the 16th century, and most of its inhabitants are Christian Armenians of a religious minority. The elements of the identity of Jolfa were analyzed through the following research methods: field observations, distribution of questionnaires and qualitative analysis. The basic methodology that was used to further understand the Jolfa neighborhood and deconstruct the identity image that residents associate with their respective neighborhoods was a qualitative research method. This was done through utilizing questionnaires that respondents had to fill out in response to a series of research questions. From collecting these qualitative data, the major finding was that traditional neighborhoods that have elements of identity embedded in them are seen to have closer-knit communities whose residents have strong societal ties. This area of study in urban planning is vital to ensuring that new neighborhoods are built with concepts of social cohesion, community and inclusion in mind as they are what lead to strong, connected, and prosperous societies.

Keywords: Development, housing, identity, neighborhood, policy, urbanization.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 685


[1] Lynch, K. (1384). A Theory of a Good City form (translated by Bahreini, S. H.). Tehran: Tehran University Press.
[2] E. Bacon, "Designing Cities" Translated by Farzaneh Taheri, Tehran, Shahidi Publishing House, 2007.
[3] N. Fokhouhi, "Urban Anthropology", Tehran, Publishing Ney, 2004.
[4] A. Christopher, "The Architecture of the Secret of Immortality," translated by Mehrdad Ghyomi, Tehran, Shahid Beheshti University Press, 2002.
[5] Caves, R. (2005) "Encyclopedia of the City" London, Rout Ledge.
[6] Atlman, Irwin (1984). Culture and Environment, Cambridge University Press, London.
[7] Madanipour A. Design of urban space: An inquiry into a socio-spatial process. 1 st ed. John Wiley & Sons; 1996. p. 148.
[8] Zucker, Paul (1970), “Town and Square; From the agora to the village Green”, The MIT Press, Massachusetts.
[9] Mitchell, D. “Introduction: Public space and the city”. Urban Geography, Vol 17, No 2, 1996.
[10] Jenks.M and Dempsey.N, Future Forms and Designfor Sustainable Cities, Architectural Press, London.
[11] Daniel E. Williams, FAIFA., Sustainable design. Ecology, Architecture, and Planning.
[12] Daniel Vallero and Chris Braiser, Sustainable design. The Science of Sustainability and Green Engineering.
[13] Savre, L. & Arbour D. (1989). Joining old and neighborhood planning and Architecture for city revitalization. epfl. ch/revevel Saver. pdf.
[14] Daneshpour, A. (1379). Recognition of identity concept in public urban space. Doctorate Thesis of City Design, Fine Arts Faculty, Tehran University.
[15] Zadraffiei, N. (1384). Spatial social process of city identity Vol. 15, No. 48.
[16] Ghasemi Esfahani, M. (1383). Where are we from? Identity of residential textures. Tehran: Rozaneh Press.
[17] Tavasoli, M. (1378). Urban sociology. Tehran: Paiame Noor University Press.
[18] Pakzad. J. (1375). Identity and convergence to the space. Sofeh, Vol. 6, No. 21-22.
[19] Graham, B. (1998). Modern Europe: Place, culture and Identity. New York: Oxford Uniuersity Press.
[20] Piran, P. (1384). Cities' identity: A debate on a complex concept. Abadi Quarterly, Vol. 15.
[21] Cowan. R. (2005). The dictionary of the urbanism street. Britain. Wise Press.
[22] Behzadfar, M. (1386). City identity: A glance to Tehran identity. Tehran: Shahr Press Institute.
[23] Accessed on 15 February 2014.
[24] Accessed on 27 February 2014.