Analysis on Meaning Quality of Urban Public Places, Yazd, Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Instructor of Art and Architecture, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Associate Professor of urban design and planning, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Professor of architecture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


The discussion below can be read as a call for more rigorous and transparent explication of philosophical commitments and implications of one’s chosen methodological standpoint. Physical structure, function and perception are formed and directed to place. Place is defined by imagination and memory. Nowadays, urban public spaces are in the lack of meaning they cannot be perfectly perceived by citizens. The purpose of this research is to propose effective indicators in perception of citizens in urban public places.  Meaning quality of urban public places is a big concern. Various indices shape meaning quality of urban public places. Some indices can play more important roles in perception quality. Finding these indices could help planners and designers to improve meaning quality from the perspective of citizens.
The study area is Yazd city in central areas of Iran. Thus, Yazd province is located in the center of the country, and its center is Yazd city. The population of this city is about 582682 people. The city of Yazd is the economic and administrative capital of the province and, therefore, the most heavily populated city of the region. Yazd is one of the best cities containing Iranian Architecture samples. It is one of the major and historical cities in the world as a historic texture portfolio in UNESCO.
The aim of this research is to introduce indices on the quality of urban public places in the view of Yazd (Iran) citizens. Thus, the research method is "descriptive- analytical". Also, we used survey analysis method.  At first, the literature was reviewed due to proposed indicators. In order to analyze the indicators the sample size is 384 individuals. We have used questionnaire as data collection instrument. On the other hand, T-test and Friedman test (Non Parametric Test, K Related Samples), in SPSS, have been used for analysis data.
Results and discussion
Based on research method, we have initially reviewed previous studies. So, we extracted indicators from some ideas mainly from Lynch (1981), Violich (1983), Bentli (2005), Coleman (1987), Alen Jacobs & Appelyard (1998), South worth, (1989), Greene (1992), Haughton & Hunter (1994), Punter & Carmona (1997), and Carmona (2003). Theoretical issues about the quality and the quality of the survey have been developed during the past few decades by national and international institutions such as PPS. According to the components of urban space quality in scientific ideas, we selected twenty two indexes for analysis in the semi Delfi process. These twenty two indexes are including eco-friendly form, visual compatibility, visual character, accessibility, walk-ability, environment for all, social reaction, various land use, customizability, efficiency, happiness, richness, friendly, eligibility, learning, personalization, security, sense of time, culturally, meanings, manifestations and spiritual themes, and permeability.
In terms of gender structure, about half of the respondents were male and half of them were female. Also, more than half of them were single and others were married. The average age of the subjects was 34 years old. In terms of education, about 40 percent of respondents had a master's degree and 30 percent had bachelor degree. The birthplace of half respondents in this study is Yazd city and others were born in other cities of the province. The participants were residing in Yazd city.
The participants were asked to express their judgments about the quality of urban public places in order to evaluate the effects of the 22 indicators on the perception of respondents and their judgment about the meaning quality. Answers were analyzed using one-sample t-test. 
The values more than 3 for each indicator represent significant effect on the quality of judgment in the perception of the citizens. According to this analysis, these indicators i.e., variety of land use, social interactions, sense of time, environment for all, friendly places, and culture have been effective to understand the meaning of place quality in Yazd city. The results showed that other indicators are not effective on respondents' perception of the quality squares.
Respondent’s prioritization of the meaning quality indices can show the importance of effective factors of perceptual quality. Understanding the importance of each indicator in shaping the perceptual quality of the squares was important result of this study that can be used in the future studies. To prioritize the respondents' perception of meaning quality indicators, Friedman test was used.
The results of Friedman test confirms that there are significant difference between twenty two indicator’s impacts on meaning quality of spaces perception. It should be noted that the most important indicator in the formation of meaning quality are environment for all, accessibility and efficiency.
Analyzing the meaning quality of urban public spaces by means of quantitative methods and experimental models is an approach that is used to identify the overall level of quality. Meanwhile, access to reliable results, close to reality, can be used to perform planning and decision-making in proceeding strategy and physical, non-physical intervention on public places. This study was done based on the use of these approaches of measuring environmental quality. This research indicates that among the indices for all 22 indicators, three indicators (Environment for all, accessibility and efficiency) have the highest influence on percept meaning quality. As a place like Amir Chaqmaq or Besat Square has historical and cultural background values, the historical and cultural values are the main index in meaning quality of urban public places. It can be concluded that meaning quality indexes have different ranks according to the place. Some of them are more common in various places and some of them are only considered in especial places. Formal indices are more common but that the indices related to culture and history, are not based on quality judgment in the places. Therefore, planners and designers can establish their projects based on more common indices like Environment for all, accessibility and efficiency that are not related to culture and history for supporting the places with minimum meaning quality.   


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