The Role of Delimiting Neighborhoods in its Social Cohesion and Integration (Case study: Mozafari and Al-Qadir Neighborhood of Kerman)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate in Urban Planning, Faculty of Civil, Architecture and Arts, Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran

2 Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Civil, Architecture and Arts, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Faculty of Civil, Architecture and Arts, Islamic Azad University Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran


For urban sociology, urban neighborhoods are considered as the concept of real social units. They, to a certain extent, have been emerged accidentally and unconsciously. These have been developed in sustainable and definite form, including certain privacy over the time. Thus, in the past, most of the cities developed in Iran had a certain name and specific social characteristics. Sometimes, this kind of classification is referred to geographical classification of city which brings up a specific name for it. The present research has put forward this question: which factors have brought about the unity and cohesion of neighborhood in delimiting boundaries of the historic neighborhoods of Kerman? the associated problem is referred to significance differences in delimiting neighborhood in the past and that of the present time. The necessity of this study is the adaptation of a new approach in neighborhood and urban division. As the current procedure is based on providing services and determining the levels of urban division, it has always been pursued, regardless of establishing adjacent neighborhoods. The separation of neighborhoods may present the principles of cohesive. Various urban units such as neighborhoods are integrated with each other through urban interfaces or boundary elements and components. In fact, the relationship between various urban neighborhoods has been underpinned by these interfaces than internal elements and components of each unit. With more investigation in study conducted on neighborhood and relevant purpose and approaches to the present study, it is obvious that few studies have been conducted on the concept of delimiting neighborhoods. 
In this study, qualitative research approach has been applied using content analysis method related to neighborhood division, delimiting neighborhoods, and the concept of city as a whole. The new theory of sciences is related to philosophical views, as well. We have analyzed relevant documents such as maps and aerial photographs related to neighborhood divisions in the past and present. By reviewing valid pervasive literature covering cohesion and integration issues, 14 indicators have been explored for their evaluation. Al-Qadir and Mozafari neighborhoods in Kerman have been selected as case samples. Then, questionnaires have been designed to evaluate indicators evaluated through the likert scale. To validate the 150 questionnaires of this study, we have used SPSS software. The sampling method is a proportional volume cluster in which the number of samples has been selected based on each neighborhood population. The first respondent has been selected accidentally using neighborhood’s map and other respondents have been selected using systematic distance. After filling in questionnaires and adding data to SPSS Software, factor analysis has been used to analyze questionnaire data and to find the important and influential factors in each neighborhood. Finally, some suggestions and strategies have been developed to ameliorate the possibility of neighborhood cohesion using factor analysis and comparing them to each other.
Results and discussion
The findings has revealed that factors with the highest proportion in defining residential neighborhood cohesion are including access to boundary, access to communities in boundary, the quality of social interaction, dynamic and vitality condition of boundary, and appropriate pavement in boundary. The historical neighborhood of Mozafari shows the maximum integration resulted in the highest amount of cohesion. The highest and the lowest differences are referred to “access to boundary” and “having appropriate pavement”. Among all mentioned factors, only “appropriate pavement” shows a similar condition in both neighborhoods. In other factors, the highest degree is obtained by Mozafari neighborhood. In other words, the environment of neighborhoods boundary or their interfaces plays a significant role in promoting interconnectivity and social cohesion of neighborhoods. Actually, if boundaries got social interactions, the role of boundaries as connecting axis rather than a separation edge will be highlighted.  
In delimiting neighborhoods, social, physical, and historical factors should be determined to divide neighborhood. Some residential neighborhoods present social factors as social correlation in which specific physical-spatial structure has often been manifested. However, dividing neighborhoods has developed main activities in neighborhoods with no social factor to link the community potential. The center of neighborhood is a major spatial factor in recognizing it, particularly when it is to be more attuned to social needs. Therefore, centers such as mosque should be delimited in separate neighborhoods. Finally, planning and designing these centers as urban environment on the scale of the neighborhood may improve social interactions. 


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