Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences

Year: 2009
Volume: 4
Issue: 4
Page No. 251 - 257

Revival Necessity on Historical Textures of Iran Cities

Authors : Daryoush Gharedaghi and Fikrat Husaynov

Abstract: Historical textures of cities determine their identification and heritage. We see these textures in cities central cores as organic ones which are formed during time passage and their frame involves various alterations by influence of social and economic circumstances and natural factors. We will have a healthy city when its old frame and its present elements are revived and used along with new needs and during its growth it can generate logic creative relations with the old texture so that city integrity and identity would be maintained and totally city frame expresses its history. Change in these textures and their appearance are considered as necessities. Date of revival of old textures in Europe is within the last years of 19th century. In those years, cities developed after industrial revolution and following the cities developments, historical texture was settled in development path or was demolished (replacement viewpoint), or kept in its primary form (museum viewpoint). But the thought get new results in their evolutional path. The revival of textures and city collections is presented as an important economical and social subject which its goals are frame improvement and life level promotion in texture. In this study, at first it has been tried to study necessity of old texture revival and in the next step while presenting present values in old texture, its problems are referred. Finally, necessary approaches on revival of old textures are stated.

How to cite this article:

Daryoush Gharedaghi and Fikrat Husaynov, 2009. Revival Necessity on Historical Textures of Iran Cities. Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 4: 251-257.


Protection of past buildings and memorial textures is not a simple subject. We are not allowed to encroach upon them; they do not belong to us. One part of them belongs to people who had constructed them. And another part belongs to next generations.

Old textures of Iran cities which had been built during history in response of economic and social life of this territory were considered as dominant pattern of their frames until the late Ghajarieh era.

Primary changes in this texture were accomplished when Iran was settled in the world capitalism chain in the last years of Ghajarieh era.

Entrance of the first automobile and propagation of west culture were two important factors to organize Iran cities environmentally. Development of new urban textures with today's life standards and ignorance of old textures values and their disability in responding to new needs caused them to appear invaluable at the public viewpoints. Contemporary city construction that presents street, belt-pulley and also new models for equipment distribution and construction of rough buildings has made an irreparable damage to city organic texture. But it is certain that old textures having relations between different elements could respond to the kind of life needs that has changed completely nowadays.

Protection and maintenance of texture without any change within it are not possible and logical. Human approach on these places requires deep understanding of economic, social and framal challenges of their textures. In fact, there had not been a constant view about old urban parts revival in Iran. Therefore, it is necessary to present a stable approach on revival of social life because of its hidden values; so that many city experts have been studying about it.


In this study, it is tried to represent importance and necessity of two important subjects of urban planning i.e., civic improvement and reconstruction by means of descriptive-analytic research method based on library documents and data.

So, representing present values and also problems as main reasons for beginning discussion, this research intends to have a systemic look at these kinds of textures and past conditions, to identify inner advantages and disadvantages of system and chances and threats of its environment by means of analytic SWOT method and to find the negative entropies that can enter the system and form a negative feedback orbit in system and so they can control the system and lead it towards stability and growth.

To present how the proposed method is applied, old texture of Zanjan city (Iran) has been chosen, which has got physical and skeleton crisis because of improper interferences. The used method is city planning process which includes stages such as recognition of present situation, its analysis, examination of problems, assembling of general goals, presentation and assessment of solutions and selection of the best option.

Results of the research shows that present texture has produced difficulties in passages network, accesses, quality of buildings, public and private parks and also problems of sewage and vadose water disposal, which need special projects which require public participation and cooperation of city-related organizations.

Necessity of old textures revival: By reviewing present situation of historical textures and their problems, we realize the necessity of their revival. In fact, revival could be considered as a way to meet the spiritual and material needs of life environment. Human life environment is exposed to change such as his needs and sometimes it is felt that it should be repaired if it was obliterated and it should be changed or replaced, if it could not be in conformity with time conditions (Hanachi, 1986).

If we know revival of historical textures that its goal is optimization of human's life environment as a social necessity, above-mentioned research is economically and culturally necessary. If we pay attention to urban built places economically, they are results of investment and combination of human labor force, skills studies and different materials and despite of time passage and exhaustion respond to many of daily life requirements and with investment in direction of conserving and strengthening them and necessary conditions, making changes in them in order to respond to new requirements, the waste and downcast of financial capitals can be prevented and take the new constructions and equipments of life instead of excessive expansion in adjacent and original grounds, into the inside of historical texture and mobilize them in directions of today's life, preventing the decline of conservable parts of the texture. If only economical values are considered, revival may contextualize replacement urbanization. For this reason, ancient textures and their revival's necessity should be considered culturally. Therefore, historical textures revival's necessity can be regarded from two perspectives.

Concept and value existence in the places built-in urban historical texture which can be necessitate one of the main reasons in the historical texture revival affair. These values can be divided as follows (Khademi, 1999):

Aesthetic value: Historical buildings and cities are valuable for they are intrinsically beautiful or ancient and have a rare value. Due to Zukin (1989) statement, historical buildings and regions possess impressive qualities, they reflect out the perfume and the odor of the noble and individual skills period, which that skills have lost in the modern periods. In the world, which the rate of changes is high, the visible and tangible evidences of the past can be valuable by the intermediary of exhibiting the sense of locus and continuity. Historical buildings existence is an evidence of time passage in a certain place. According to Ashworth and Tunbridge's reasoning place intimacy is significant in individual psychological stability retention and sudden and abrupt changes in anatomic setting should be modulated through conservation policy-makings for future remains with the back-up of the past (Lynch, 1960).

Value of architectural variety: Aesthetic attraction of historical places can be resulted from the combination of a large number of buildings, but not the beautifulness of a distinct building. Most of the cities constitute buildings which are formed in various periods, with diverse styles and dialects. In this way past can be evaluated because of positioning beside of the present. Mumford in his book, the culture of cities (Mimford, 1938), explicitly denotes to this point that how past city skips from the dictatorship and the autocracy of the present time and the dullness of the future, which echoes the mono voice of the past, through variety of structures in his own time. In this way, even relatively ordinary historical buildings because of their help to the aesthetic variety of the urban scene are valuable.

Value of environmental variety: Architectural variety, at the same time, can help also to the environmental variety. Particularly in many of the North American cities, dynamic coexistence between historical neighborhood which has a humanistic scale and modern Central Business District (CBD) which has a memorial scale is observable. Also, in Boston, there is a stirring environmental juxtaposition between Government Center and Quincy Market. Also in Iran this relation is observable around the Naghsh Jahan Square of Isfahan (A cultural-historic city in the center of Iran) in a strange form.

Value of functional variety: The adjacency of old texture and its residential areas, which has a low rental and estate price with market and surrounding commercial areas, which are in a high level from price point of view, makes justifiable the investment in this range. For instance, the French Neo Orlean neighborhood as a historical district enjoys from a invigorating relation and beneficial coexistence with adjacent bureaucratic neighbourhood and this itself provides integrity and coherence which is greater that what is created by the summation of various parts (Ford, 1994). In Zanjan (A historical city in the North-West of Iran) and Mashhad (A historical pilgrimage city in the North-East of Iran) cities also this type of relation is completely clear in such a way that the adjacency of market in both of these two cities with residential areas has increased the motivation of investment in this range to a large extent.

Value of resources: Lichfield (1988) gives two definition of historical textures revival. Firstly, investigating the amount of humanistic and natural resources depletion, secondly, investigating the exhaustion (or exploitation decrease) from human-made resources, such as buildings. Buildings, either beautiful and historical, or ordinary but with obvious usage it is better to be used rather than to be displaced or demolished. Their value is in the investment and economic resources consumed in them.

Value of cultural reminiscence: Value of cultural reminiscence continuity (heritage value) what seems important is that is not summarized merely in the aesthetic or visual continuity, but also cultural reminiscence and monument continuity is important. From mid 1960s decade up to now, this justification for conserving historical regions has found a great importance and attention to historical textures aesthetic value and privilege and their cultural originality has became more widespread (Hewson, 1987).

Business and commercial value: Related justifications to the revival of defense affair, which were surveyed and reviewed up to now, more include aesthetic, social and cultural values rather than tangible business and commercial values. However, in a texture which previous values can not be used in the revival of this type of textures, business and commercial justifications for investors and private sector can research in the way for the repair of these regions. According to Rypkema's statement this is not enough that the proponents of conservation and revival and other practitioners desire that historical textures are rescued. This desire should come from a large number of applicants or estate owners in the market. This itself can not be formed in the preternatural isolation (in mind), but it should find appearance in the cheque book (bank cheque). For business desire to be provided in this texture there should be pecuniary interest for investors and operators.

The existence of different crisis and problems in ancient texture which can be divided as follows:

From cultural aspect: The identity, which by native and ancient inhabitants migration from these textures to other regions of the city and the replacement of low-income people and usually uncivic, progressively rich cultural-historical values are forgotten and belonging sense to home, neighborhood and city are palely in a way that in some cases also civic life is threatened (Ablaghi, 2001).

From commercial and anatomic aspect: Ancient textures despite of having numerous advantages such convenience of access to all parts of the city, easy access to service and business centers and working centers, existence of potential ability in direction of business and service activities and also having the potential and appropriate ability in order to housing development, unfortunately these types of textures have been interest free from available abilities and accompany with themselves the following difficulties and crisis:

One of the main obstacles of revitalization projects is the existence of commercial problems and the costs of renovation and conditioning are expensive. Most of the ancient textures inhabitants are formed of the low income classes of the society and accordingly who are directly beneficiary in the reconstructing of their own life environment, do not have the ability of paying financial assistance and therefore can not be considered as one of the commercial provision resources for implementing revival projects. So, governments are the only commercial provision resource in which comparison of private sector, with considering general interests and social aims can act in level of cities and with imposing various policies in direction of equipping private resources, play an active role in the direction of conditioning this part (Mahdizadeh, 2001).

The other problem is the issue of ownership and its fragment because of heredity. The fragment of ground and in its follow the multiplicity of land owners which each of them treat in a different way by their estate, encounters the organization and the revival affair with problems (Gharehdaghi, 2005).

The other great obstacle on the way of ancient textures revitalization projects is the nonparticipation of people in the process of provision to implementing of this type of projects. So, paying attention to the way of project acceptance by ancient neighborhood inhabitants is necessary. In a way that suggested projects should put up in a manner that are adapted by habits and customs of the city inhabitants and before implementing the project, the notions and essentials of the project should be described completely to the inhabitants and the satisfaction of th town men are attracted, otherwise in practice, the project implementation will encounter numerous obstacles and difficulties (Boojai, 2004).

Anatomic exhaustion, disability and deficiency of texture from the point of view of access to the pathway network and substructures, ever increasing value loss of ground, housing and business corporations in comparison of other parts of city, prestige loss and market operations scale change from civic and overcivic to rural, anatomic disconnection from the overall texture of the city because of unprincipled interferences in the past, poverty of public and civic servicing places, exit of administrative agencies and important commercial firms from texture, indesire of inhabitants for repair and renovation for the reason of poor commercial and financial power are some of the prevalent crisis in historical textures of cities which should be considered in the occasion of this domain's revival. From earlier discussions it can be concluded that the cities ancient textures revival's necessity is observable in three contexts:

Cultural necessity, which is the necessity of keeping of cultural values, residence in constructed places of city

Commercial necessity, which is the necessity of keeping of commercial capitals, substantive in constructed places of city

Social necessity, which is the necessity of conditioning social life via extending new life firms and equipments

The points of strength, weakness, opportunities and threats: In the following of the discussion, we try to declare the existent problems and abilities in historical textures, in the form of SWOT Table 1 from social, commercial and anatomic dimensions. This action can distinguish the appropriate operation for ancient textures regeneration and revival and prevent short-term and cross-sectional remarks.

Ancient textures revival strategies and policies: The historical monuments of cities ancient texture can be divided in tow distinct parts from civic texture and construction point of view and available values in it.

Table 1:

The table of cities ancient textures, points of strength, weakness, opportunities and threats

Table 1:


In the civic texture part, most of the residential monuments and buildings generating the texture, either have vanished or the residential buildings exhaustion is so intensive that their repair seems a difficult action, or in this texture, new apartments or dwelling units have erected, which have no conformability or fitness with ancient dwelling units of the city.

Therefore, the texture of the city has dealt a substantial and constructional problem and can not lie to its revival with simplistic policies and programs.

In the civic construction part there are various elements in ancient city's backbone which includes markets, inns, etc. that likewise continues to their anatomic life. What is needed in these buildings is giving them new activities and repair many of them. From other elements of civic construction is the ancient texture's neighborhood center, which most of them have lost their operational centrality in the previous meaning and the existent elements and buildings in them such as mosques have remained in the form of single local buildings. Also inter-neighborhood communication axis has lost their previous function at the impact of road-makings and new axis has produced inside of the texture.

So, in the present condition, the problem of city's ancient texture intensely burdens on the figure of civic system. In the city's construction and elements, there is a hope yet, particularly the backbone of ancient city and existent elements in it, anatomically, have remained intact to some extent. Neighborhood constructions elements and the relation between city's backbone and the center of neighborhoods have various problems. But can be hopeful for their revival through appropriate actions, urban designing and executing.

Fig. 1:

The treated strategies and policies for historical textures

The treated strategies and policies for historical textures revival are brought as shown in Fig. 1.


Civic ancient areas before representing anatomic and technical elements and issues, include series of social thinking approaches and men's customs of life in their own period. In other words, a great part of our present city's space belongs to previous periods. These urban spaces particularly after the designs of post modern period were disregarded. However, these areas with social-anatomic values that are not so far time, have been the focus of wealth, power and management, nowadays they have changed to anatomically unorganized, socially unstable and managementally unprogrammed domains. Humanistic approach to these places will imply a basic and substantial understanding of cities historical textures commercial, social and anatomic challenges and problems. Actually, a stable overlook about civic ancient areas revival has not formed and the management of this spaces which are considered cities identity focus with a physical-anatomic approach have stepped toward their demolition and exhaustion. This texture will be revived whenever people and activities come back to them policy formulation and change it to a place that everyone desire to enjoy and invest in it.


The present trends continuance means the stabilization and institutionalization of instabilities and abnormalities in different geographic, commercial, social, cultural and anatomic dimensions in this domain. So, narrow-mindedness should be put away and with revision in projects, policies and strategies and refreshment in institutes and organs related to urban issues, to overcome fall-behind of expedients than changes and haste to rescue the city and citizens and supply space and opportunity for future generation. Urbanization and revival in so wide areas in addition to technical-professional aspects, is an inter-disciplinary action, multidimensional, including social, commercial, anatomic, legal, political and environmental dimensions. It is a national issue and over the urban management resources and facilities.

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