Masoumeh Sazandeh, P.H. D student will complete his P.H. D thesis on “Urban landscape connectivity (ULC) and tendency to walk in urban parks(Case study: Shiraz urban parks)" in Tuesday, September 5th 2017, at 9:00
Dr. S. A. Yazdanfar
Dr. M. Behzadfar
Today with rapid growth in urbanization and alterations in lifestyles have led to prevalence of physical, mental and social diseases in cities. Therefore, through the current trend citizens’ health is in danger and this threat has had scholars of different fields to take public health into consideration from different aspects. What is evident in this regard is the relationship between landscape and health which has become one of the major concerns of designers and planners in this field today.
In a world full of change and various discontinuities, the quality of urban landscape connectivity (ULC) is an innovative and important concept in landscape architecture profession that plays a significant role in promoting physical, mental and social health of citizens. Given the effect of Environmental design on increasing tendency to walk, this study has investigated the possibility to promote walking in order to improve the health of citizens from the point of view of environment and landscape design and improvement of connectivity quality. The role of urban parks as spaces to promote individuals’ social and physical activities is important. Meanwhile, the role of urban parks as spaces that bring connectivity between human and nature and increase social and physical activities, is very important.
This study is a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods which was done in five steps. The first step is collecting literature using library research and internet search via a descriptive-analytical approach and a logical argumentation strategy. This phase, led to represent the concept of Urban Landscape Connectivity ULC with the viewpoint of landscape architecture, and a list of various ULC components and corresponding parameters. At the end it was completed by representing the conceptual model of ULC. In the second step of the thesis, in order to proceed with the study in a real and indigenous context, case studies have been used and four parks have been selected in the city of Shiraz during the process of classification, observation and descriptive social survey. In the third step, due to focus on the subject more, the priority of ULC components influencing walking were selected by using the theoretical foundations frequency table, Delphi technique and questionnaire from park tourists. In the fourth step, both variables of study - ULC and walking- were quantified and the relationship between them was measured. In this step, data were collected by using survey strategy, counting technique and questionnaire and were analyzed by SPSS. In the last step of this research, ULC factors affecting walking in Shiraz urban parks were analyzed, categorized and labeled by experts.
The results demonstrated that ULC plays a significant role in people's willingness to walk in Shiraz urban parks in which there is the uttermost degree of ULC, and the highest tendency to walk is observed. On the other hand, among the different components of ULC, four ULC components, i.e. socio-cultural connectivity, structural connectivity, functional connectivity and visual connectivity have greater roles in encouraging people to walk in these parks. What is important in this regard is the overall ULC directly related to the total amount of walking in the Shiraz urban parks, but the effect of each ULC components on walking is not direct and the same. So, the socio-cultural landscape connectivity and functional landscape connectivity play more significant roles in increasing people tendency to walk in Shiraz urban parks. After these, structural landscape connectivity is located and visual landscape connectivity is in the last priority, with less effect on walking in Shiraz urban parks in comparison with other three components.
What is certain is that this priority can be changed in other cities, according to their social, cultural, behavioral and way of living differences.
Keywords: Urban Landscape connectivity (ULC), Walkability, Urban Parks, Shiraz City