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Shahid Bahonar University of Kerman , msoltan@uk.ac.ir
Abstract:   (149 Views)
Residential neighborhoods face challenges and anomalies in terms of their social aspect and the research upon various fields is aimed to find solutions to reduce or deal with them. Architectural and urban designers attempt to contribute to the promotion of social environment in neighborhoods and provide patterns, recommendations or policies in the scope of residence with regard to the concepts suggested in sociology, psychology, etc.. Social capital is one of the referable concepts which has been proposed in recent decades. Social capital considers the resources available in the relationships of the individuals and groups and regards the resources as a capital for advancing the individual and collective goals. In the present century, it has been proposed as an option to confront the social challenges of human settlements in the form of communities and neighborhoods. The concepts such as social capital, help designers to obtain a clearer picture of what is happening in communities and neighborhoods and to provide the physical solutions.
This research seeks to explore the relationship between the built environment of residential communities (focusing on open and public spaces) and the social capital and to find components or criteria of the built environment associated with the social capital. Due to the diversity and multiplicity existing in the definition of the concept, this study introduces a certain framework and determines five components including the trust, reciprocity, Place attachment, local participation, and neighborhood ties to evaluate this concept. It also describes some components for assessing the built environment in two aspects of physical structure of community and physical components, and develops the research model. This model is tested in two case studies in Tabriz, Iran, which are physically different. To achieve the goal, this study employs a combination of data (triangulation method) derived from survey, observations and objective structure of samples and states that the built environment has a definite but minor effect on the social capital of inhabitants.
The results showed that although the physical criteria of the two communities are different, especially in terms of the components contributing to the social capital as considered in the previous research, the level of social capital of the residents in the two samples and their assessment of the residential environment are close to each other. As the research suggests, it cannot be expected that the change in the built environment to create a balanced change in the behavior patterns of the residents. Beyond this general and remarkable result, the analyses showed that all the physical components affecting the social capital reviewed in the West did not appear to be true in the context of Iran. Also, among the physical criteria, the open space surface and the sidewalk surface are more strongly correlated with the social capital than the density. The most effective action for influencing the social capital through the change or modification of the physical structure is to predict the public green space (local park), and among the influential components, the attractiveness of open and public spaces has the strongest relationship with the social capital of the residents. In general, this research states that it is necessary for refining, designing or improving the built environment of residential communities to avoid the direct referral to the Western studies and the mere reliance on their results and to involve the (social) considerations of the context of Iran. However, this requires extensive research to gain a proper understanding of the relationship between the social and built environment of the communities in the current Iranian society.
Type of Study: Research |
Received: 2020/01/3 | Accepted: 2020/12/21 | ePublished: 2020/12/21

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