year 5, Issue 1 (Spring & Summer 2020)                   CIAUJ 2020, 5(1): 201-216 | Back to browse issues page

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soltanzadeh M. The Role of Built and Social Environments of Traditional Communities in the Formation of Social Capital. CIAUJ. 2020; 5 (1) :201-216
Assistant professor, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran. ,
Abstract:   (901 Views)
The concept of social capital views the relationships and interactions of individuals, characterized by quality or quantity, as an asset, trying to use this as­set to tackle problems in different areas. This con­cept is deemed a reliable measure, particularly in the residential neighborhoods context. This study discusses social capital in the form of a model for traditional communities of Iran and, by proposing indicators for social and built environment of the communities, explores their relationship with the components of social capital in the framework of a model of social capital, defined at community level and characterized by three cognitive, behavioral and psychological components. Social environment indi­cators include the administrative system (control and management, self-sufficiency) and the social composition, while the built environment indicators consist of diversity and function, composition and structure, architecture and design. Given the com­plexity of the concept of social capital and the fact that built environment does not directly create so­cial capital, the study demonstrates that the control and management system of traditional communities is in accordance with the component of empower­ment in the social capital model. On the other hand, the self-sufficiency of communities and their social composition affect the sense of community. In other words, social interactions increase by the con­sistency of demographic patterns and the self-suffi­ciency of communities, which means their ability to meet the daily and weekly needs of residents through their various functions. Along with the en­hancement of social interactions, the sense of com­munity is promoted and the component of neighboring among inhabitants is strengthened. Briefly, the social environment can affect the be­havioral components of social capital (neighboring) in addition to its positive impact on both cognitive component of social capital (empowerment and sense of community). The built environment of communities possess a variety of components and functions. The diversity of functions led to the emer­gence of self-sufficient communities in terms of meeting the needs of inhabitants, while the function of components was beyond mere functional roles; they therefore sometimes played a social role (e.g. the mosque and neighborhood square) and provided a suitable basis for the active presence of residents at community level. In other words, the correct pre­diction of social needs of residents and appropriate responsiveness in the built environment provided the inhabitants with spaces necessary for their social activities at community level. On the other hand, the architecture and design of elements, precise predic­tion or embedment of components (frontispiece, hoods, etc.), selection of materials and creation of spatial qualities (dimensions, proportions, differ­ences, etc.) are factors that increase social interac­tions and promote the residents’ sense of attachment to the community. At a higher level, the overall structure of community, composition of components, organization and location of functions such as house, passage and square are aimed to in­crease social interactions. Consequently, the built environment of communities specifically affect the sense of community (cognitive component), neigh­boring (behavioral component) and sense of at­tachment (psychological component) by: (1) increasing the level of social interaction, and (2) en­hancing the sense of belonging to the community.
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