Evaluation of old city’s neighborhoods in response to the sense of safety (A case syudy of Qazvin, Malek abad

Document Type : Research Paper



Extended Abstract:
Urban neighborhoods have changed over time. The body formed appropriate to the circumstances and needs of each period. People at any time use some available tools to achieve the needs and aspirations they have. As a result, the body of each neighborhood is a reflection of ideas, methods and tools developers have at their period.
Feeling safe is one of the important human needs and one of the most characteristic qualities of the space. On the other hand, in today's complex urban communities, environmental factors cause different types of crime, lawlessness and chaos, and thus, the lack of security in cities and urban areas. Meanwhile, the urban texture of the old neighborhoods in Iran was known for their security and safety of its residents. Although this issue has also been influenced by social and cultural factors, the intelligent designing and planning of such neighborhoods should not be ignored.
The main objective of this research is to identify the spatial characteristics of the old neighborhoods of cities which helped to improve the safety of their inhabitants. Because it is based on Islamic principles (such as maintaining privacy) and provides a fertile field for research and gain experience. This article is classified in the category of qualitative research and the method of research is based on a case study. Research has been performed by use of spatial analysis software, GIS.
Urban security in different periods, have always been subject to numerous theorists. The result of these discussions and votes, before taking shape as schools and documented opinions, were expressed by theorists and experts individually. In this study, the formation of opinion and a summary of the most important scholars in the field of security and crime in urban areas is discussed. With an overview of world literature and urban security standards, the most comprehensive theory of the "theory of crime prevention through environmental design, or CPTED" have been applied and theoretical framework of research is obtained, which has been implemented in one of the oldest and original neighborhoods in the city of Qazvin. Malek Abad is one of the old neighborhoods of Qazvin, which has shaped fully in organic texture according to the city's core development and in spite of recent construction and renovation, it still retains its old identity and composition. Overall, the neighborhood can be mentioned as a mix of residential homes, public places and some local land use but its private, semi- private and public domains, as well as its access control, according to its antiquity, provides an appropriate field of research. Evaluation is done by using methods of Goeller Scorecard and Checklist of criteria.
According Results and discussion:
to the research framework, there have been 3 criteria: ‘territorial reinforcement’, ‘access control’ and ‘natural surveillance’. The data needed for each one, gathered in two ways, questionnaires and collected field. First criteria (territorial reinforcement) were defined by two sub criteria "sense of ownership" and "definition of public and private spheres", in which some Indicators like ‘referring to a unique name for the neighborhood’, ‘unique mental boundaries of the neighborhood in the residents mind’, ‘housing time of residents’, ‘recognition the neighbors of together’ and ‘matrix of response – location’ are evaluated in the case study. The second criteria (access control) is divided into 8 sub criteria which include: Visual permeability, separate pedestrians and cars, the passing traffic, texture penetration and ability to provide parking lots, useless streets and spaces without protection, marked and visible entries, lighting, having ways potentially to escape. The last criteria (natural surveillance) is comprised of two sub criteria: ‘size and congestion of space’ and ‘form of space’. All mentioned criteria and sub-criteria, developed in order to assess the neighborhood body's response to the sense of security of residents and to be able to compare the results obtained, finally all of them vote in the 5 scale range of Likert (In which score of 5 is the most desirable rating).
Assessment results show that among the three specified criteria, Malek Abad neighborhood is in a good condition in criteria of ‘natural surveillance’ by gaining the score of 4. It means that visual control of the neighborhood is doing well and on the other hand, the theory of the observer's eyes on the street is fully achieved there. The case in criteria of ‘territorial reinforcement’ obtained score of 3.77 which is a little above the average. It shows that (Often non-normative) construction affected on the neighborhood structure to some extent and disassembled the order of organic and hierarchical ways of it. Although the territorial separation in the residents mind is very powerful, it requires some improvements and suitable spatial building to make boundaries of public, semi-public and private spaces clearer and more recognizable. The most significant problem in the studied neighborhood was in the criteria of access control.
It evaluated under average by score of 2.95. According to third criteria, there were several problems in different places, such as: Violating the privacy in the main streets, no sidewalks in most places, especially in the southern area, directing traffic passing through the neighborhood streets, low permeability in some passages especially deadlocks for emergency, the inability to provide adequate parking lot, existence of useless spaces and abandoned and desolate land and finally, the lack of suitable definition of neighborhood’s entry.
Finally we can say evaluating Malek Abad neighborhood as an example of the old neighborhood of the historic city of Qazvin, shows it has succeeded in responding to the needs of its residents to feel safe reasonably and acceptable. However, renewal and setbacks and some other changes have been implemented mostly in main pathways of neighborhood, have led to additional vulnerabilities of old texture in the access control. Items that cause the strengths in such neighborhood are also shown and finally, the scientific and operational research findings are presented.


Main Subjects

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