Document Type : Research Paper
Associate Professor of Urban Planning, Bu-Ali Sina Hamedan University, Hamedan, Iran
Bu alisina university
With the growth of industries and economies after the Industrial Revolution, many new problems such as traffic, crowded public spaces and intense daily activities emerged in metropolises. As a result, a tendency to live nighttime lives formed among major groups of citizens with the aim of getting away from daytime work restrictions, expanding leisure time, improving urban nightscapes, developing night economies and providing nighttime social and recreational activities (Kavousi, 2015; Ayatollah, 2015). Considering the modern structure of life and the new models of time spending, many urban planners and sociologists now believe that people are looking for an artificial “day” during the night so that they can get access to and perform relaxing activities (Karim et al., 2013). In fact, the concept of night city seeks to provide economic and social solutions for proper use of resources and opportunities and improving quality of life (Roberts and Eldridge , 2012). Therefore, urban spaces must have the necessary capabilities and potentials to be used by citizens at all hours of the day (Moayedi, 2013).
The methodology of the research is quantitative. The required data were collected via field study, library research and distribution of questionnaires at 10 different sites in Hamadan City. A total number of 384 questionnaires were distributed at the selected sites based on the number obtained by Cochran’s formula and the population of Hamedan which stands at 554,406. These sites were identified and selected based on remote sensing data collected by the Strava satellite. The Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test was used to ensure the adequacy of the sample size. A KMO value higher than 0.7 means factor analysis can be performed with confidence. Then the skewness test was used to check the normality of the obtained data. Since the basis of factor analysis is the correlation between the test questions, the Bartlett test of sphericity was used to evaluate the correlation between the variables. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is one of the most widely used methods in many scientific fields including urban planning for refining or producing the latent dimensions of data. Varimax rotation in EFA was used for data analysis.
Results and discussion
Many studies carried around the globe about nightlife have focused on certain aspects such as presence of various social groups such as artists, students and tourists in urban spaces. Because of Iran’s sociocultural characteristics and norms, however, nightlife in Iranian cities mostly revolves around the presence of families in urban spaces, especially near religious and historical sites. In fact, most nighttime celebrations and events in Iran take place at religious and historical sites (0.730). As such, nightlife in Iran is defined based on the presence of family members, relatives, children, women and elderly citizens alongside one another. Therefore, paying due attention to the appearance and landscape of authentic religious buildings has an important role in promoting nightlife. As can be seen in Table 5, this component has the factor loading of 0.728. This shows that social and environmental security plays an importance role in the presence of Iranian families in urban spaces (0.713). The results showed that security is one of the main factors deemed important by the middle-aged and senior groups. The results also showed that factors such as environmental quality, favorable climate (0.716), access (0.857) as well as spatial and functional diversity (0.752) play an important role in the realization of 24-hour urban spaces. The role of economic stimuli in nightlife is highly important as well.
Certain characteristics such as the possibility of holding ceremonies in urban spaces, commercial facilities, low-cost land uses, favorable climatic conditions, environmental favorability ,suitable distance from houses, availability of parking lots, general supervision, responsive and permanently-available management, beautiful environments and landscapes, uniform cultural quality and finally the inclusiveness of urban space are the most important factors for creation of a lively nightlife and formation of economic and recreational activities from the viewpoint of the users of urban public spaces. Based on the results of this research, recreational and economic activities play an important role in the realization of a lively nightlife as urban citizens demand fulfillment of these needs in line with their welfare, security and comfort. This finding conforms to that of a study by Roberts (2004), who suggests that promotion and proper management of nighttime activities, prosperity of night economies and provision of social security are among the most important components of nightlife. Alexander(2008) mentions four requirements for promotion of nightlife and its integrated management: proper distribution of active nighttime spaces all over the city, allocation of appropriate activities to nighttime spaces, equipping nighttime spaces with suitable services and provision of security in nighttime spaces. In their study about the role of security in the vitality of nightlife, Alimoradi et al. (2016) propose that increasing sense of security requires increasing the combination of compatible land uses, providing suitable furniture, improving visual and physical permeability, using proper lighting and cheerful colors as well as implementing designs suitable for nighttime activities. It is possible to achieve these qualities in a defined framework by making a series of plans in the spatial-functional structure of public spaces, setting a series of regulations and using different forces in these spaces. These qualities allow cities to not only provide their residents with a dynamic and active daily life but to offer high-quality nightlife to urban citizens. Pakzad et al. (2012) have emphasizes the role of nightlife in improving the performance of urban spaces. This study showed that lighting can improve the appearance and landscape of urban spaces and thus increase the presence of citizens in these spaces. This finding conforms to the results of a study carried out by Samani et al. (2012) who suggest that urban lighting significantly contributes to the liveliness and security of urban spaces. Golkar (2006) believes that the mental image of an urban space during nighttime can become stronger and more vivid than its image during daytime with the help of lighting and thus create a more coherent mentality of the city for citizens.