The Effect of Modernity and Modernism on Changing the Concept and Function of Urban Spaces and Emergence of New Urban Spaces in Iran’s Cities from 1800 to 1900 A.D. (Qajar era)

By Daryoosh Sattarzadeh and Lida Balilan Asl.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

City and urban spaces are concepts which have a direct relation with all different aspects of human life in every historical era. These concepts are not only affected by social, cultural, philosophical, political, economical, and other variables but also are the indicators of these issues in every place and time. Before the modern era, which is referred as the “traditional” era and in Iran parallel with the collapse of the Safavid dynasty, urban spaces had their skeleton and functions which have been formed gradually over centuries. However, these urban spaces started physical and functional development with the influence of modernity and modernism along with the Qajar dynasty (1800-1900 A.D) in Iran. During this era, there were different socio-political movements all over the country due to the influence of modern thoughts, of which the Mashruteh (constitution) movement is the most noticeable. These movements, which were not observed before that in Iran, are reflected in Iranian cities in urban spaces like squares, adding to the functions of these spaces. This was mostly realized in the famous cities of Iran, namely Tehran and Tabriz. Through the organization of modern revolutions in these places, the leaders of the modern movements changed the meaning and concept of urban spaces and introduced new functions into them. According to the findings of this paper, there was a major development in the structure and organization of urban spaces of Iran due to the influence of modern thoughts. This paper’s focus is on Tabriz, the city which was influenced more than other cities of Iran regarding the physical changes in that era. The findings revealed that changes have occurred in several different scopes including the creation of new functions in the previously established urban spaces, which had not such a function before, the creation of new structures in city, and finally the emergence of new behaviors such as the Mashruteh revolution through going on strike in the public places of the city. Although these behaviors originated from modern thoughts, their realization was due to the existence of urban spaces and urban squares.

Keywords: Modernity, Modernism, Urban Space, Iranian Cities, Tabriz, Qajar Dynasty

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp.59-76. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.416MB).

Dr. Daryoosh Sattarzadeh

Assistant Professor, Art and Architecture Faculty, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz Branch, Tabriz, East Azarbaijan, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

I am teaching architecture and urban design in the Art & Architecture faculty at Iranian universities. I have participated in some international conferences and symposiums like ISUF (International Symposium of Urban Form) in Britain in 2004. I published some architectural articles and a translation of The Architecture of the Jumping Universe, by Charles Jencks, in Iran. I did some research in the fields of architecture, urban design and urban spaces. I am interested in architectural design and bilateral human behaviors.

Dr. Lida Balilan Asl

Assistant Professor, Art & Architecture Faculty, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz Branch, Tabriz, East Azarbayjan, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

I am teaching architecture in the Art & Architecture faculty at Iranian universities. I have participated in some international conferences and symposiums like the First International Conference In Urban Design 2006 in Iran. I published some architectural articles. I did some research in the fields of historical textures, urban design and urban spaces. I am interested in in-between spaces in Iranian, Islamic, and Middle Eastern cities.