عنوان مقاله [English]
Due to the increasing growth of urbanization, the exponential expansion of cities, and the acuteness of environmental, social, and psychological issues. Currently, the issue of planning for leisure time and developing and equipping recreational spaces on urban and suburban scales have become a social necessity; recreation in the natural areas can take many of us away from daily life and the nervous pressure of the city streets. Like many urban centers of the country, Mashhad metropolis has faced a rapid urban growth trend in recent years. On the other hand, the existence of the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza as a religious pole for the Shia Muslims of the Islamic world and influenced by other religious, historical, social, and economic values, etc., has caused a large number of pilgrims and tourists from cities and the surrounding countries travel to this city. Therefore, this city needs special attention to strengthen and create attractive and role-playing public spaces to improve the mental health of the urban community and improve its position in urban competitions considering the transnational role of this city. The southern heights are one of the most important natural landscapes in the urban landscape of Mashhad, which has improved the overall ecological image of the city. On the other hand, some actions in the process of equipping the environment for the development of recreational activities have caused unreasonable interference and conflicts in the natural areas around Mashhad and especially in the southern highlands, which currently shows the rapid process of changes in the visual-perceptual system of the environment. Therefore, the current research with the aim of "evaluating the visual effects of the southern highlands using a development approach with the role of a resort" tries to understand the visual values of the environment in the development of the area under study with the function of a resort to strengthen the relationship between humans and the natural environment and identify the negative effects of development on visual resources The results can help the targeted development of the mentioned area as an attractive urban space accessible to the public while paying attention to the protection of ecological qualities in the design and operation process.
Based on library and documentary studies, a framework of theoretical foundations has been developed in the first stages of this research. In this section, using a questionnaire, criteria extracted from review studies to evaluate the effects of landscapes were checked and weighted by 15 specialists and experts in this field. In the next step, relying on field methods to record the scenery and the focal points of the scenery to simulate the scenery resulting from the resort development projects in the studied area in order to evaluate the visual effects of development measures and policies on the existing visual resources by receiving public preferences from tourists and experts used questionnaire tools and images of simulated landscapes. In this process, 15 experts and 165 tourists were randomly selected as the statistical population. Finally, the data analysis was done according to the data obtained from the comparison of the existing landscapes and the landscapes caused by the development. In the final part, solutions were presented based on reducing the negative visual effects caused by the development measures.
Results and discussion
According to the results, in general, due to the development measures of the promenade in the southern heights of Mashhad, many linear and wide corridors are affected by the establishment of artificial elements (such as service buildings, gazebos, and facility elements, benches, etc.) or the planting of trees in a non-targeted manner. Moreover, the vision is often limited to distant visual qualities, especially in receiving wide landscapes. Although the planting of trees has improved the sense of naturalness and complexity in most of the received landscapes, on the other hand, due to the lack of attention to the effects of planting trees on the sight corridors, in many of the received views of this area, the range of vision is limited, and the distance of receiving the view is reduced in the perception of people. Also, the presence of artificial elements incompatible with the natural form of the area has caused a sense of inconsistency and reduced cohesion in the natural integrity of the bed. In addition, the traffic of cars and heavy vehicles, as well as the presence of artificial elements incompatible with the natural form of the area, has reduced the sense of naturalness, virginity, and untouchedness. As a result, it reduced the visual and ecological qualities of the audience of this area, including mountaineers and nature walkers.
In this area, Follow the set of measures to develop and equip the southern elevations of Mashhad metropolis, without considering the effects of development measures on the image and natural landscape of the area, visual corridors towards natural visual resources, and especially strategic centers to receive a wide view towards the city that has high visual quality. It is limited in visibility, and in many landscapes, the sense of naturalness is reduced due to the artificial elements of the environment.
By examining research sources based on landscape assessment methods, more activity needs to be done in this area. On the other hand, considering that these days the development of the resort in the southern heights of Mashhad as a valuable project has received the attention of the city managers of other cities in the country, it is noteworthy that no research has been done focusing on the visual effects of this area. In this way, the results obtained from the present research can improve the management of this natural area's valuable visual resources in the recreational development process. It can also be used as an experience in evaluating the visual effects of the recreational development of similar projects.