Evaluation of Environmental Quality in the Historical Urban Quarters of Iran (Case Study: The Quarter of Nafar-Abad, Rey)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Amin Institute of Higher Education, Iran

2 M.A. in Geography and Urban Planning, Amin Institute of Higher Education, Iran


After the rapid population growth in the Iranian cities, these cities have experienced great changes. The physical structures of the cities are eroded and the managers have no attention to them. Many immigrants entered the cities  have dwelled in the inefficient urban textures like in the marginal areas and old textures. Thus, the environmental quality of place has been weak. Undesired condition like air pollution, noise, bustle, accumulation of garbage, increase of harmful animals, lack of services and urban facilities, insecurity and other characters have lowered the environmental quality index in the areas. Citizens have been influenced by this undesired condition. Thus, evaluation of the environmental quality in the quarters of the cities and citizen satisfaction of that is one of the most important purposes in the urban planning. 
In the last century, Tehran has experienced much growth. But in this process, historical quarters have been neglected. Thus, the quality of environment of these quarters has been lowered.  
This research evaluates the environmental quality in one of the historical urban quarters in Rey, Tehran, named Nafar-Abad. But this quarter is so wearing out. It seems that wearing of this texture affects the environmental quality. Thus, this research has evaluated the environmental quality with physical-spatial, environmental, social and cultural indices. The research questions are:
-     Is the environmental quality favorable in the quarter of Nafar-Abad?
-     What is the level of citizens satisfaction from the environmental quality in the quarter of Nafar-Abad?
-     Is there relationship between the sense of place and the citizens satisfaction from the environmental quality in the quarter of Nafar-Abad?
-     Which indices are effective in the environmental quality in the quarter of Nafar-Abad?  
This is a descriptive- analytical research and an applied research in purpose. Data of this research have been gathered by documentary and survey methods. In survey method, data have been gathered  by questionnaire tool. The statistical population size is 13667 and the number of samples determined by Cochran formula is 262 selected by simple random sampling. According to the hypothesis, a questionnaire consisting of 68 questions was used. These questions are made in a Likert format based on quality of environment criteria. These are physical-spatial, environmental, social and cultural criteria. Cronbach's alpha indicated that the questionnaire is designed with reliability requirements. In order to optimize measurements, we have reduced the number of variables and created a new structure of the variables in the form of multi-factor analysis. SPSS software was used in this analysis.
The study area is the quarter of Nafar-Abad, Rey. It is one of the southern and the oldest quarter of Tehran. This is an overcrowded place with old buildings that attracted many immigrants.
Results and Discussion
The results have indicated that the environmental quality of Nafar-Abad is in very low level. One of the reasons of this condition is because of the old texture of this area. The value of land and housing is very low in this quarter. Half of the population of this quarter is immigrants often without any sense of place. This affects their unwillingness to login to renovation process.
Table 1. The names and description of factors





Physical quality of residential environment

Dissatisfaction from home facilities, home Area, Number of rooms, Insufficient vision of residence and Insufficient Lighting in the quarter


Social space of quarter

Feel being comfortable of the people in this quarter, Stress from the social environment of the quarter, The presence of evil and malicious


Citizen's belonging to place

Etiquette of people, Lack of interest of people to living in this quarter


Environmental pollution

Vermin, Garbage, Unpleasant odors, water pollution


Public services of the quarter

Lack of parks and green spaces, cinema, educational centers, commercial centers and commercial services


Health care facilities

Lack of medical facilities, medical personnel and proper medical equipment

The environmental index has a very bad situation in the area. The geographical conditions of this quarter make many kinds of pollutions like the air and water pollutions, harmful animals and accumulation of garbage. Also physical index with the physical failure of wearing texture, lack of parking, worn out houses, dilapidated building and inefficient passages have so problems.
Also the social-cultural index is in the lowest level in this quarter. Some of its reasons are the low levels of sense of security, social heterogeneous structure, disturbance of hooligans,  drug use and high population density. But Nafar-Abad is one of the most exceptional quarters of Iran in the social indices. Despite the large numbers of refugees and social problems caused by them, social potential is high due to the presence of indigenous people. The sense of belonging to place in native citizens is the strength of this quarter. The cost of maintenance of the buildings is high for dwellers and they have weak incentives for this.
-     All of the indices of environmental quality are in very low level in the quarter of Nafar-Abad. To the extent that this quarter has become one of the most undesirable quarters in this city.
-     Citizen's dissatisfaction from dwelling is because of the weakness of the environmental quality in this quarter.
-     Immigrants are indifferent about the fate of place. Thus, they do not show a willingness to improve the quarter.
-     Native dwellers are more satisfied in the quarter because of their high sense of place. They have more credible socio-economic position than the non-indigenous residents. Because of their attachment to this place, they still are committed to live in this quarter. But it seems that low environmental quality of Nafar-Abad make them to leave this place in the future.
Strengthening in the neighborhood ties increase the participation in the renovation process.  


Main Subjects

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Volume 48, Issue 3
October 2016
Pages 429-439
  • Receive Date: 23 April 2014
  • Revise Date: 09 November 2014
  • Accept Date: 11 November 2014
  • First Publish Date: 22 September 2016