عنوان مقاله [English]
The individual and social requirements of humans, which the designers of urban spaces should consider, include factors such as emotional connection with the place and the feeling of belonging. Moreover, considering the importance of knowing the factors affecting the creation of a sense of place belonging in the design of urban spaces, this research aims to study the factors influencing the outcome of a sense of belonging in a metropolitan area, mainly urban sidewalks. Sense of place, however, is a multidimensional and complex structure that describes the relationship between citizens and urban spaces. Furthermore, the users of those spaces perceive this feature, ultimately leading to a place that is special and unique. This paper aims to review the factors and criteria that influence the creation and increase of the sense of belonging in the urban space, particularly in the urban sidewalks as one of the urban spaces used in today’s cities; accordingly, considering the potential of Shahid Chamran pedestrian walkway in Shiraz City, in the vicinity of Chamran Blvd., as a study example, the paper seeks to realize an integrated analysis of the range and a set of location-based and micro-scale strategies to increase the sense of belonging of the users to this urban space, which ultimately leads to the creation of collective memories in the area.
Materials and Methods
The paper is applied research and uses descriptive-analytical approaches. A mixed quantitative-qualitative method is utilized accordingly. Moreover, the data-collecting techniques are divided into four categories: library information, field information, and quantitative strategic planning matrix analysis. Ultimately, the questionnaire from Chamran sidewalk users was used, and it was studied utilizing a t-test in SPSS. Regarding information collection, library information and the Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix (QSPM) method are applied to collect information to recognize and measure the context in terms of the criteria of the sense of belonging in the Shahid Chamran sidewalk of Shiraz. The main instruments applied in the field method include semi-structured interviews with local society, completing the questionnaire according to the indicators obtained from theoretical studies, photography, and observation. In this paper, however, at two different times (morning and evening) when more users were present in the research area, interviews and questionnaires were answered with the help of 90 pedestrian users, residents of the site, and workers around it.
The paper, however, aims to measure the sense of belonging in the Shahid Chamran sidewalk and provide spatial strategies to increase the variable on this basis based on the criteria and sub-criteria measured in this range and based on the macro dimensions of the principles of creating a sense of place belonging in urban sidewalks resulting from the theoretical framework, after identifying the most important strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats as the SWAT shows, they were inserted in the evaluation matrix of internal and external factors. As the results show, Shahid Chamran pedestrian street is currently not in a suitable and acceptable condition due to internal factors, and the weak aspects of this street outweigh its strengths. On the other hand, according to the ultimate score of the matrix of external factors, this sidewalk organizes a relatively suitable and acceptable condition. Also, the opportunities in this area hold more points than possible threats. Furthermore, conservative strategies were selected, and using the quantitative strategic planning matrix method, the priority and score of each of the proposed designs were suggested with this approach in the Chamran pedestrian walkway. Moreover, the most attractive strategies for compensating weaknesses and exploiting opportunities were: “redefining the application of existing spaces along the pedestrian route to strengthen social activities”; “combination of spatial elements and vegetation to balance the spatial proportions of the environment”; “strengthening the lighting and improving its condition on the footpath”; “improving pedestrian accessibility along the route and strengthening inclusiveness along it”; “redefining the entrance of spaces and also strengthening the spatial determination along the pedestrian route” and “strengthening legibility along the pedestrian route.” Ultimately, the priority of spatial strategies in the Shahid Chamran sidewalk was determined.
One factor affecting citizens on urban sidewalks as a new space in today’s cities is the sense of belonging. As a result, it is essential to adopt location-based strategies to increase this urban space’s environmental quality. This paper aims to study the criteria and sub-criteria affecting citizens’ sense of belonging in urban sidewalks and their evaluation of the Shahid Chamran sidewalk in Shiraz to measure its condition in terms of the intention of belonging of the citizens to this urban space and to provide strategies to increase the sense of belonging in it to answer the questions raised in the research. For this purpose, however, the criteria and sub-criteria of the meaning of belonging in an urban sidewalk are analyzed and evaluated following reviewing the existing theoretical bases related to the research topic and extracting the theoretical framework. Accordingly, the condition of this sidewalk was assessed by field observations at various hours of the day based on the number of visitors to this urban sidewalk. Semi-structured interviews and conversations with the users of this space and completing a questionnaire based on the theoretical foundations of the subject, and subsequently, the type of strategies required to improve the condition of this sidewalk is determined by internal and external factors evaluation matrix. Moreover, the approach adopted by the quantitative strategic planning matrix, QSPM, in this urban space is based on conservative analyses aimed at taking advantage of potential opportunities in this area to overcome existing weaknesses.
Additionally, using the various spaces available on the sidewalk to define temporary or permanent activities on the sidewalk has gained the highest level of attractiveness among other proposed methods.
Considering that the Shahid Chamran pedestrian area is located in the vicinity of various uses, however, defining flexible and diverse spaces to encourage individuals to be present in this urban space and perform multiple cultural and social activities may increase the level of communication of users with this space and lead to the revival of their sense of belonging to this environment in addition to creating collective memories. Among the other solutions that were finally chosen to improve the current condition of the Chamran sidewalk, we may mention the combination of spatial elements and vegetation, lighting enhancement, and improving access. Furthermore, as is evident, the mentioned solutions have a minor and location-oriented nature and are looking for small reforms in the current state of the area; according to the results of the questionnaire, interviews, and observations present the relative satisfaction of the users of the said space and additionally the successful performance of this space as an urban sidewalk. In this way, the sense of belonging to the place of life is an essential topic in urban studies. Therefore, the high importance of belonging to the citizens increases their spirit of participation and expands the communication and interaction of the individual with the environment. However, the results of this study may apply to the design of urban sidewalks, and there is a way to increase the sense of belonging in urban sidewalks. Thanks to the proposed framework, planning and designing in all physical, functional, socio-economic, environmental, and managerial dimensions makes it possible to create an urban space with the most excellent sense of public belonging.