Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 M.Sc. Student in Urban Design, Faculty of Art and Architecture,Shiraz University, Fars, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shiraz University, Fars, Iran

3 Professor, Faculty of Art and Architecture, Shiraz University, Fars, Iran


According to studies, designing street landscapes is a field that, despite its importance, has been neglected so far. Street landscape perception is a complex concept that needs to be broken down into constituent components in order to be studied and understood more precisely.
Given that the main focus of this research is on active walls of the ground floor, the components constituting street landscape are divided into three general physical, functional and contextual groups. Regarding physical components of street landscape perception, pedestrian movement path can be considered as a room consisting of various lateral surfaces including flooring surface, active walls surface, surface facing the passage, and surface hanging in the space. In this sense, pedestrian movement path is simulated as a room where the observer is in the middle of the path and perceives the space from a human point of view.
The functional component of street landscape perception consists of two sub-components of land use and behavioral activities and patterns. The contextual component also consists of a sub-component of historical and identity backgrounds. Urban design qualities of designing street landscapes in this study includes functional qualities of sidewalk landscape including comfort and convenience, safety and security, readability and mental image, accessibility and communications, timeliness and transparency; and aesthetic qualities of sidewalk landscape include sensory richness, order and unity, complexity, color, texture and materials, spatial hierarchy and sequence, and human scale and enclosure.
The components constituting active walls consist of two physical (including external and internal elements of a building) and functional (including ground surface activities, readability, orientation, sense of invitation, and interaction of citizens with street space) dimensions.
In order to achieve a comprehensive view in this field, a combination of different methods has been used. In the first phase of the study (development of the research framework and theoretical foundations), library studies method was first used to investigate and collect the components and criteria from studies related to street landscape perception and active walls of ground surface. In the second phase of the study (gathering information on street landscape and active walls in the studied site), quantitative and qualitative methods of assessing street landscape perception, including behavioral observation, checklists, technical drawings (plan, cross-section, and facade, qualitative drawings (sketch), image recording (photography), and activity recording were used.
Scoring each of the indicators was done in the form of the 7-point Likert’s scale. Then, the data obtained in this section was analyzed in the next phase (analysis) using SWOT matrix. The purpose of using this model is to develop and adopt appropriate strategies between internal factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external factors (opportunities and threats) in line with the research goals. In this study, SWOT analysis is followed in four steps (evaluation of external and internal factors, matching and determination of strategies, formation of internal and external matrix and implementation priorities, and preparation of Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix (QSPM). Weighing the internal and external factors including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, as well as scoring the strategies were done using opinions of a group of 15 urban design experts. This is while in the earlier phase, namely, SWOT Matrix adjustment and scoring it, participation of 71 experts of urban design, faculty members and students of urban design field was used.
In this regard, a total of 59 internal factors (21 strengths and 38 weaknesses) and 35 external factors (23 opportunities and 12 threats) were identified. Among the strengths, the optimum orientation of residential unit openings toward public space and connection of the area to two main and busy streets of the city as a factor of enhancing social security and vitality have the highest final scores. Restricted behavioral pattern of space users and high share of forced activities compared to voluntary and social activities are considered the strongest weaknesses.
Among the external factors also the possibility of designing diverse land uses attracting all social strata and possibility of designing micro-scale urban spaces aiming to increase diversity of behavioral patterns of those present in the space are considered the most effective opportunities, and inactiveness and abandonment of other old and valuable land uses and distortion of street landscape, especially ground floor landscape due to multiplicity and diversity of uncoordinated openings are considered the strongest threats.
Therefore, low mean scores obtained from the studied indices indicate relatively poor quality of street landscape components in the area. The scoring matrix of the four components of street landscape perception divided by the first to third sequences and the eastern and western fronts of Khayyam Street can be analyzed saying that given the sum of the obtained scores in each sequence of the street, generally, the third sequence has the highest score followed by the first and the second sequences with the lowest score indicating poor quality of the studied components in this sequence. The mean score of the set of indicators in Khayyam Street is equal to 3.88, which is somewhat lower than the average level. The low mean scores obtained from the studied indices indicate relatively poor quality of street landscape components in the area.
Sum of internal factor scores is 1.894 and the sum of external factor scores is 2.965. Given the sum of final scores of internal and external factors, the selected strategies fall into the cell of conservative strategies. In other words, the street landscape, and especially its active walls, despite its weaknesses and threats, has relatively large strengths and opportunities. Therefore, strategies for creating spatial openings and designing urban spaces of varying scales in them and attracting observers’ attention to signs and other physical events and enhancing citizens’ sense of presence are prioritized over other strategies.


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