عنوان مقاله [English]
Identity crisis, or a sense of lack of identity, is one that prevails in most realms of the modern day human's life, and in most communities. In fact, the significance of considering identity at human habitat level lies in what brings about identity disorders today, which can pose a threat to the survival and sustainability of the built environment. The reason is such disorders can undermine all values of the society, render the surrounding environment bare of its mental image and identity, and bring about uncalled-for consequences for the vital configuration of the city. Thus, assigning identity to neighborhoods and human habitats as the preamble to the concept of urban physical division and its aspects and hierarchies is among the exigencies of urban planning topics. The present study aims at examining and comparing the role of the physical components of mosques in defining the physical identity of neighborhoods, and eventually, at devising proper physical-spatial strategies that can bring identity to neighborhoods corresponding to the historical district and middle and modern fabrics, drawing upon the role of mosques in the neighborhood.
This is an applied research conducted using a descriptive-analytical method. Desk research was used to collect theoretical data, questionnaires were used to deliver survey data, and SPSS was used for data analysis. The statistical population is comprised of families residing in Shiraz, which was put at 376 people using Chocran formula, with a sampling error of 5 percent. Experts were asked to put forth strategies, and eventually, SWOT was employed and followed by AHP quantification to shape up proper physical-spatial strategies.
At the end, based on the findings of the study, competitive strategy was selected for the internal fabric, conservative strategy for the middle fabric, and SO for the external fabric in order to heighten the physical identity of neighborhoods using the physical components of mosques.
One of the features affecting collective life and social relations is the sense of belonging to a certain place. This place is where individuals spend most of their time living or working (Asadi et al., 2020: 18). In the long run, this sense of belonging builds identity for the place, and given the synergy of the sense of belonging of the inhabitants, identity development leads to the development of the visual image of place (Barkat et al, 2019: 1). Lack of sense of belonging to a place originates from lack of identity in the environment which have made people less dependent to the neighborhoods. So, they move and change their place more easily (Shaterian et al, 2017: 114). Mosques has been the identity-building elements in neighborhoods since the distant past. In modernizing cities, mosques were ranked second as identity-building elements such that today, based on urban principles, mosques and their physical properties are not in good conditions, in terms of both number and shape of distribution (Daneshpour & Shiri,2015:18) The center of neighborhoods and mosques have lost their importance as the key elements of neighborhoods and apparently, placing the mosques at main and high-traffic intersections, have been considered as the main criteria in choosing their location. Mosques are no longer the tallest buildings in cities; their direct impact on people is attenuating, and as they lose their connection with the structure of the city and the neighborhoods, their function in the physical identity of the neighborhoods is also declining (Naghizade, 2007: 25). The present study investigated the role of mosques in building place identity in three neighborhoods of Shiraz in order to identify dimensions of the crisis and suggest solutions to solve it.
This applied study was conducted with a descriptive-analytic design. In order to obtain information on objective indicators, the field survey method was used and a questionnaire and interviewing people living in the studied neighborhoods were used to collect data related to mental indicators. In order to present proper solutions, experts in urban planning, urban design and social planning were surveyed. A sample of 376 people was estimated as the statistical population based on the Population and Housing Census of the Statistics Center of Iran in 2011 and using the Cochran's formula and with a margin error of 5%, to question the role of mosques in promoting the identity of neighborhoods, included households living in Shiraz. In the present study, Shiraz was categorized into internal texture (historical), middle texture and external texture (new-build) based on the history of formation and properties of textures. Using cluster sampling method, three regions were randomly selected from the mentioned tissues and the location of the main mosque in those neighborhoods was analyzed. In order to provide solutions, experts were questioned on the physical identity and factors affecting it. Using the SWOT analysis and quantifying it by AHP method, appropriate strategies were examined to improve the position of each mosque in strengthening the neighborhood identity in the studied tissues. Since the present study follows two different approaches, to analyze the findings from questioning residents, data were analyzed in SPSS using statistical methods. Statistical analyses (ANOVA) were used to identify significant relations between dependent and independent variables. In order to develop strategies, a questionnaire was developed based on experts' views according to SWOT method and provided to them to suggest their opinions to weigh each of the SWOT subsets; finally the weight of each strategy was determined by AHP method.
Results and discussion
Findings from surveying residents on the role of mosques in strengthening the physical identity of neighborhoods indicated that Imam Reza and Amir-al-Mo'menin Mosques had the most and least significant effect on physical identity of neighborhoods with an average of 3.8 and 2.28 respectively. Given a p-value of less than 0.05 for all three indicators, at a confidence level of 95% , there was a significant difference between the average indicators of neighborhood identity, mosque and neighborhood identity, and mosque and physical identity of the neighborhood according to respondents with the position of mosques in the urban environment. This can be attributed to various socio-economic as well as physical characteristics of the mosques. The highest value of each index was found for Imam Reza Mosque in Shahid Beheshti town. According to the analysis results of experts views, a competitive strategy, conservative strategy, and aggressive strategy should be considered in the internal, middle and external neighborhoods respectively.
Based on what stated in this study, it is concluded that in the internal neighborhoods which are located in the primary core of the city, such as the Sang-e Siah neighborhood of Shiraz, mosques (such as Moshir-ol-Molk mosque) have an effective role in the physical identity of the neighborhood. This can be due to many factors, including the centrality of the mosque, its location in the main passage of the neighborhood, the entrance space of the mosque, its various uses, attracting neighborhood trips and the use of rich Iranian-Islamic architecture in its design, its readability and orientation, and positioning relative to the mosque etc. which date back to the historical formation of neighborhoods in the past and their location as the main axis of the neighborhood. However, in historical neighborhoods, the difference in the socio-economic characteristics of the neighborhood, the exodus of indigenous people, the structure of planning system and extensive destruction of the texture for modernization and improvement programs contribute to a lack of identity in historical and internal urban neighborhoods. In the middle neighborhoods, such as the Pasdaran neighborhood of Shiraz, due to the absence of planning and design, mosques (like Amir-al-Mo'menin Mosque) are a typical part surrounded by residential parts in one of the side routes of neighborhood. In these neighborhoods, mosques and their physical dimensions have the least impact on the identity of the neighborhood; because in order to create a physical identity by valuable elements, they must be designed and located from various dimensions. In the new-built and external neighborhoods of Shiraz, such as Shahid Beheshti neighborhood or town, due to the planning and design of the neighborhood, the mosque (such as Imam Reza Mosque) is located in the center of the neighborhood as a landmark. Here, development of the neighborhood based on the structure of the mosque and increased attention of planners and city managers to the central role of mosques in urban neighborhoods is well observed.
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