New Urbanism and Sense of Place: A Case Study of Haft Houz Neighborhood, Tehran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD in Geography and Urban Planning, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

4 Assistant Professor of Geography and Urban Planning, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran


New Urbanism is the important planning movement in this century, and is about creating a better future for us all. It is an international movement to reform the design of the built environment, and is about raising our quality of life and standard of living by creating better places to live. New Urbanism is the revival of our lost art of place-making, and is essentially a re-ordering of the built environment into the form of complete cities, towns, villages, and neighborhoods-the way communities have been built for centuries around the world. New urbanism involves fixing and infilling cities, as well as the creation of compact new towns and villages. The principles of New Urbanism can be applied increasingly to projects at the full range of scales from a single building to an entire community. New Urbanists claim that the physical characteristics of new urbanism can lead to the development of a sense of place. According to this claim, the increase in social interaction also leads to an increase in sense of place among residents. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to recognize the effect of each of the principles of new urbanism on the increase of sense of place in Tehran's Haft- Houz neighborhood.
This research is a fundamental research in terms of purpose. Also, due to the fact that its results can be used to solve urban planning problems in the Haft- Houz neighborhood and to promote the sense of place among residents, it is also functional research.Methodologically, this research is a descriptive and analytical research .The study used the researcher-made survey questionnaire as a principal tool for gathering data. At first, 20 questionnaires were distributed among the relevant experts and researchers. Then, based on their suggestions and opinions, the validity of the questionnaire was assessed. To standardize and validate the questionnaire, qualitative assessment was done using an expert panel and quantitative assessment was done using content validity ratio (CVR) and content validity index (CVI). Reliability assessment was done by a test–retest method and use of Cronbach's alpha. The result showed that the questionnaire has a high content and Face validity. Also on the basis of Cronbach's alpha reliability is high. The statistical population consists of residents of Haft Houz neighborhood, located in region 8 of Tehran city, according to the Iran population and housing census in 2016, it is 30401 people. The number of samples was obtained using Cochran method. According to the calculations, 321 individuals were sampled for study, but increased to 500 simple in order to achieve better results. A simple random sampling method was used to distribute the questionnaire among the samples. To analyze the data, a multivariate regression model has been used because in this research we have 10 independent variables and 1 dependent variable. The data of these variables are numerical and relative.
Results and discussion
The correlation(R) between independent and dependent variables is 0.88 and is high. Also, the determination coefficient (R square) indicates that 0.776 of the variation of dependent variable (sense of place) is related to the independent variables (ten principles of New Urbanism) studied in this research. From this, quality of life with a standardized coefficient of 0.636 has the greatest effect on sense of place.
Also, in this study, the sustainability with a beta coefficient of 0.284, Walkability with beta coefficient of 0.282, green transportation with beta coefficient of 0.249, Quality Architecture & Urban Design with beta coefficient of 0.240, Connectivity with beta coefficient of 0.027, Mixed-Use & Diversity with beta coefficient of 0.072, Mixed Housing with beta coefficient of 0.069 and Traditional Neighborhood Structure with beta coefficient of 0.064 affect the sense of place in the Haft-Houz neighborhood. Also, the variable "high density" with a beta coefficient of -0.09 has a decreasing effect on the sense of place.
The results of this study showed that, other than the component of increasing density, other components and principles of new urbanism have a positive effect on the sense of place in this Haft Houz Neighborhood. New urbanism through walkability, connectivity, Mixed-Use & Diversity, Traditional Neighborhood Structure, Quality Architecture & Urban Design, green transportation, sustainability, Mixed housing and quality of life have increased the sense of place among residents of Haft-Houz neighborhood. Based on this, we can use the principles of new urbanism in planning and urban design in neighborhoods to enhance the sense of place and identity. As the results showed, the principle of quality of life and sustainability had the greatest impact on the sense of place in the Haft-Houz neighborhood. These principles can be prioritized in urban planning. Other principles can be prioritized in terms of their impact.
According to research results, an adjustment can be made in new urbanism. So, instead of increasing the density, we must maintain balance. Because the high density may reduce the interest of residents to the place. Therefore, among the ten Principles of new urbanism, nine principles are acceptable for the planning and development of the Haft-Houz neighborhood. As a result, it can be said that new urbanism has an influence on the development of a sense of place in the Haft-Houz neighborhood in Tehran. This is a result based on the local conditions and views of the residents of Haft-Houz neighborhood in Tehran city. Other research in other neighborhoods may show different results, but the conditions of the neighborhood of Haft-Houz indicate that the neighborhood needs principles of new urbanism, but without high density. Every place should be designed for its own people. These are people who decide what they want and what they do not want. Therefore, people's desires should be decisive in choosing solutions and patterns of architecture and urban planning. In this context, new urbanism is no exception.


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