Assessing Social and Cultural Impacts of the Shahrestani Bazaar Organization Plan
Hossein Imani-Jajermi , Ramin Safi-Yari-Raveshi , Maryam Poor-Mir-Qafari , Elham Alimarani
Markets are amid public urban fortuities which play a major role in citizen-oriented interactions and seek to satisfy the daily needs of the people. The Sharestani Market is one of the earliest manifestation of markets in Tehran. The market, due to its vicinity to Imam Hussein Square and Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street is highly effected by operations in these two regions, particularly by the construction of sidewalks. The structural texture of the market has also undergone decrepit changes and has succumbed to various problems relating to visual appearance, infrastructure, waste disposal systems, and surface waters. Accordingly, the Municipality Office of the 13th District of Tehran in collaboration with Tehran Beautification Company proposed to resolve the ongoing issues about the market via the “Shahrestani Bazaar Organization Plan”. The corresponding social and cultural impact assessment (SCIA) studies have already been conducted. These studies scrutinized the various social and cultural impacts of alterations in the Shahrestani Bazaar through the course of time as well as the various complications that have been brought about as the result of these changes. Put differently, these studies sought to provide an answer to why the Bazaar has fallen from favor and failed to adapt to the new changes in its surroundings. A series of quantitative and qualitative methods were employed simultaneous to assess the outcomes of the project as well as propose appropriate guidelines on how to organize the area. Various tools were used to assess opinions of stakeholders including interviews, observations, focused group discussions, and ... . The results are indicative of an inclination among business owners for the implementation of organizational measures, provided that the project will lead to economic prosperity. Among top priority were suggestions for establishing parking spaces, sizing up the infrastructure, improving security, particularly during nights, and ...
Shahrestani Bazaar, Social and Cultural Impact Assessment, Organization, SCIA
Problem statement and significance
Similar to other urban elements, markets have also been the subject of numerous accounts of change ranging from changes in structure and function as well as social, economic, and demographic changes and so on. These changes, if carried out according to plans and in consideration of urban management, would most probably not cause any adverse ramifications; however, if the changes contradict each other, they are bound to create serious complications for civilians. Shahrestani Bazaar, as one of the oldest markets of Tehran, plays a significant role in commercial interactions as well as the cultural-social texture of the area. Due to its vicinity to Imam Hussein Square and Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street, the Bazaar is highly influenced by any changes in these two regions, particularly the corresponding sidewalk construction projects. The structural texture of the Bazaar has also undergone dilapidated changes and has lost its visual appeal. Adding to that, the Bazaar is facing issues regarding infrastructure, waste disposal systems, surface waters, as well as social problems ranging from frequent perpetrators to the buying and selling of drugs. These problems have together triggered a sense of dissatisfaction and distrust among the stakeholders in the area including local residents, business owners, and visitors of the Bazaar.
Accordingly, the social and cultural impact assessment of Shahrestani Bazaar can be looked at from two main perspectives: 1) assessments as to how the Bazaar has changed through the course of time and determination of its current problems, or in other words, trying to find an answer for why the Bazaar has fallen from favor and failed to adapt to its surrounding changes. 2) Assessing the social and cultural impacts of the Shahrestani Bazaar Organization Plan.
This study seeks to analyze and assess the social-cultural and economic conditions of the Bazaar as well as investigate the various effects and outcomes of the proposed organization plan, so as to provide the executive bodies with practical information about the area, as extracted from the opinions of the stakeholders; duly, the significance of this study lies in the lofty contribution of the proposed organization plan to improve the current haphazard state of the Bazaar through the cooperation and participation of residents, business owners, citizens, and all other stakeholders in the area, which highlights the undeniable importance of social and cultural impact assessments (SCIA) in the success of the proposed project. SCIA, as opposed to time-consuming and costly urban interventions, provides a low cost and fast tool for preventing negative impacts and improving implementation and performance of the proposed Shahrestani Bazaar Organizational Plan.
The Sahrestani Bazaar Quality Improvement Project in the 13th Municipal District of Tehran, employed by Tehran Beautification Company, is part of the comprehensive Imam Hossein Square and Hefdah-e Sharivar Street Sidewalk development project. Primary investigations were conducted by Bavand and Arcolog Consulting Engineers Company. The first phase of proceedings was to be launched in 2014. These proceedings aim to secure the most optimal organization plan for Shahrestani Bazaar as well as to procure certain executive maps for the next phases of the project. According to documents from higher authorities as well as information gained from meetings with organizational consultants, the first phase of the project only extends to structural proceedings in the Bazaar. The proceedings are as follows:
1. Upgrading pedestrian floors of the Bazaar
2. Organizing surface water flow and construction of canals
3. Organizing topography of the main strips of the Bazaar
4. Improving sign posts
5. Upgrading pedestrian roofs and decks as well as automatic canopies
6. Improving lighting of pathways
Map 1. Location of Sharestani Bazaar Figure 1. Sharestani Bazaar – Maratjayi St
Source: project researchers Source: project researchers
Spatial and geographical description of the project site (intervention, immediate, and inclusive)
Shahrestani Bazaar is a local market situated in the 13th Municipal District of Tehran, adjacent to Imam Hossein Square, located in the Asadi neighborhood. The Bazaar became operational during the end of the 1950s, assembled as small commercial units far deep in the residential neighborhoods of the southern wing of Fooziyeh Square (currently Imam Hossein Square). 10 years later, the Bazaar became a marketplace. Incipiently, the market was comprised of a few residential housings as well as large garages and repair shops, which during the course of 2 decades, due to being in the vicinity of main urban strips, were transformed into either butcher shops or grocery stores.
The Shahrestani Bazaar lies within the Asadi neighborhood of the 13th Municipal District of Tehran. The area comprises of a combination of commercial, residential, recreational, and public service buildings which extend to Damavand Street and Imam Hossein Square from the north, to Hefdah-e Sharivar Street from the east, to Eghbal-e Lahoori Street from the west, and to Sarollah Street from the south. Maratjayi Street constitutes the main strip of the Bazaar, with other ancillary streets supporting the area including Eslami, Jahan Afrouz, Koopayi, Parvin, and Memaran-e Benam streets.
The intervention area is where all constructional-executive procedures take place and a specific budget has been assigned for. The immediate area encompasses the surrounding regions of the main intervention area which directly influence it. i.e. the immediate area is implicitly affected by secondary impacts of the project. Finally, the inclusive area covers regions which are indirectly affected by changes in the intervention area. For the proposed project, the main intervention area is the Sharestani Bazaar itself, as well as Damavand Street from the north, Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street from the west, Eghbal-e Lahoori Street from the east, and Sarollah Street from the south. Parts of the Asadi neighborhood of the 13th district also fall within the main intervention zone. The immediate intervention area extends to several neighborhoods of the 13th, 7th and 12th districts, while the inclusive area reaches as far as Asadi, Safa, and Zahed-e Gilani neighborhoods of the 13th district, Nezam Abad, Gorgan, and Khaje Nasir neighborhoods of the 7th district and Darvaze Shemran in the 12th district. The map below shows the various areas in different colors; green for the main intervention zone, blue for the immediate zone, and yellow depicting the inclusive intervention zone.
Map 2. Intervention zone (green), immediate area (blue), inclusive area (yellow)
Source: project researchers
Theoretical and conceptual models, methods, techniques and tools
Theoretical and conceptual model:
• Bazaar’s in Islamic-Iranian cities:
One of the most essential characteristics of cities relates to the trade of goods and services on a large scale. This characteristic was traditionally manifested in the form of Bazaars. Bazaars are one of the oldest urban spaces that still exist to this day. The word “Bazaar” or “Vachar” in Middle Persian language is defined as “two rows of shops placed opposite of each other, usually connected via ceiling” (Dehkhoda Dictionary). “The Bazaar was formed as an economic-urban element in commercial cities of the country during the reign of the Sasanian Empire’ (Soltanzadeh, 1988: 251). Traditionally, the bazaar was the crossroad between religion, economy and politics. Compared to modern markets, such as stock markets or electronic trading markets, the traditional bazaars appear to be more human-oriented. Modern markets “have cleared themselves of all human elements. Hitherto, commodities exchanges were only part, if not a very small part, of the functions of a Bazaar. Eastern and medieval bazars (Islamic bazaars) were the main purlieu for meetings, negotiations, peace signings, declarations of war or truce and many other treaties. Bazaars were in a sense one of the most influential environments for social settings” (Fakouhi, 2004: 271). The adjacency of bazaars to mosques and other religious locales such as Hussainiyas gave them a holistic quality at certain times of the year. “Bazaars take on a specific quality during festivals, anniversaries, memorials, and other ritual ceremonies, granting them a unique “setting”” (Fakouhi, 2004: 272). A case in point is the Tajrish Bazaar, which during Muharram, is partially used as a Tekyeh (mourning grounds) for religious ceremonies. As an urban space, the bazaar has many functions including social, commercial, and political ones as well as being host to various campaigns such as protests, strikes, interviews, meetings, and at times restricted activities (Pirnia, 1992: 89).
The spatial distribution of occupations in bazaars hinged on the basis of “proximity and production” as well as “supply of similar goods”, such as in the case of coppersmith bazaars, goldsmith bazaars, shoemaker bazaars, and other similar instances. Public service providers such as bakeries, restaurants, coffee shops, vendors, butcheries could also be found at proper distances in the bazaar.
• Changes in the Bazaar over time
Given the extensive amount of structural and social change in the past few decades, the bazaar, as the main economic and social focal point of traditional Iranian urban texture has transformed tremendously. The bazaar has long lost its dynamism and transformed into a marginal element, particularly in relation to urban performance, with diminished social, economic, and structural values. This has brought on stagnation and destruction for the greater share of the bazaar, especially its marginal elements (Khatam, 2004: 125). This state of stagnation and idleness of the bazaar, is not in the least a by-product of rapid growth of cities, new means of providing urban services, invasion of cars and the importance of rapid and easy access to motor vehicles, new systems of land segregation and subdivision, formation of direct streets in the old urban texture, changes in production and consumption of goods by citizens, and new structural and economic symbols alongside new streets. Nowadays, bazaars are only looked at as old and historical spaces. Of course, there are cases, mostly in larger cities, where the bazaar has managed to sustain and restore its role by means of introducing certain changes in structure (Irandoost, 2011: 7). Such changes have also taken place in Tehran. The new commercial sector of Tehran, which is not so much reliant on the traditional social network that governs the unbroken environment of the Bazaar, sees its benefits in distancing itself from the predicaments of working in the old compressed center of the city and moving towards newer and better-equipped spaces. This is in contrast to the natural growth of retailers based on population and area. Scarcity of equipped spaces in the old center as well as the limitations of and obstacles to large and long-term investments for developing infrastructure and renovating these city centers are among the main reasons behind economic recession and retrogression of the bazaars. This has caused the gradual and scattered influx of the city center into its surrounding residential regions and has led to the formation of outspread commercial strips as well as wholesale activities in certain streets around the bazaar and the northern sectors of the city (Khatam, 2004: 127). Nevertheless, traditional bazaars still hold certain advantages over modern markets or large shopping malls (mega malls) including access to traditionally-oriented space, variety of goods and services, low costs, tourist attractions, and employment opportunities. It is these privileges that have managed to attract the attention of urban planners and managers; in other words, policies could be made in which both modern and traditional markets play irreplaceable roles. Accordingly, one of the main objectives of plans and policies of the municipality for metropolitan cities is to renovate and refurbish the old worn-out texture of cities, particularly traditional bazaars. These proceedings primarily fall within the category of organizational plans for bazaars as well as certain structural changes based on social and economic conditions.
Theories on cultural and social and cultural impact assessment centered on organizing the Bazaar
Considering that every intervention is accompanied by various impacts, in conjunction with the fact that entering a texture and invoking certain changes in structure, environment, society and ... would be considered an intervention, one can conclude that any developmental intervention would bring about certain consequences and outcomes, some of which are anticipated and desirable such as increased social security resulting from improving the current structural condition of Shahrestani Bazaar, and others unplanned problems that were not anticipated by the designers of the project during its initial phases such as increased price of real-estate, which can lead to increased costs of services and goods. The figure below illustrates the relationship between intervening action and various social and cultural impacts:
Figure 1. Relationship between intervention and social and cultural impacts
Source: project researchers
• Social and cultural impact assessment variables
Social and cultural impact assessment variables of a development project commonly include:
o Demographic changes: such as changes in the size and composition of the population, temporary invasion of labor forces or amateur users (disturbances in small and consolidated communities), and migration to newer regions.
o Economic changes: including changes in patterns of work, revenue, and enterprise investments
o Environmental changes: such as changes in land-use, natural habitats, and water regimens
o Institutional changes: including changes in the structure of the local government or traditional leadership, legal zoning or leasing of lands.
Nowadays, social and cultural impact assessment (SCIA) aims to ensure that the proposed developmental “projects” (planned interventions) attain maximum profit with the least costs, especially costs that target the society. These costs (side costs) are often not taken into account by decision makers, supervisors and construction organizations. This is partially due to the fact that such costs are hard to identify, quantify, and measure. Prior identification of the various accompanying impacts could help decide what type of intervention should be carried out and how. This way, certain measures can be taken into account for alleviating potential or existing problems and designing new optimized development plans with minimum damage and maximum gain. Through encouraging public participation, one can better select the type of development plan most fit for a specific community (Becker & Vanclay, 2009: 2).
Figure 2: Impacts of intervention
Source: (Becker & Vanclay, 2009: 2)
The impacts of a project, both negative and positive, take place on various scales. “Some changes take place on a personal level, while others extend to families or social organizations or even entire communities. Some impacts are physical ... while others are cognitive or perceptual” (Van Schooten, Vanclay, and Slootweg, 2009: 121). The notion of impact in SIA refers to “significant or stable changes in people’s lives caused by certain actions or set of actions” (Rouch, 2008: 41). Perhaps the more important factor to be considered here are the cultural impacts relating to changes in norms, values, and beliefs of a local community. According to Van Schooten et al., “ social impact refers to the impacts actually experienced by humans in either a corporeal (physical) or cognitive (perceptual) sense ... impacts must be experienced or sensed” (Van Schooten, Vanclay, and Slootweg, 2009: 121). They classified impacts into 7 categories. These categories are shown below alongside other items relative to the project and its assessment.
Figure 3. Framework for social and cultural impact assessment
(Van Schooten, Vanclay, and Slootweg 2009: 122)
Conceptual framework for social and cultural impact assessment of Shahrestani Bazaar
Like many other traditional bazaars, the Shahrestani Bazaar has also undergone various changes over time, including changes in structure, economy, society, environment, etc. which have already been investigated in previous sections (intervention area). This study seeks to investigate the current status of the bazaar from the perspective of previous actions and historical events that led to major changes in the bazaar. After identifying the various problems of the bazaar, an SWOT table is formed and certain strategies and future guidelines are proposed. Investigating the current status of the area assists in identifying the advantages and disadvantages of the organizational plan as well as various opportunities and threats to the project. The various economic, social, structural, etc. impacts of the project are then determined and a 3 stage scenario is eventually proposed.
Figure 4. Conceptual framework for social and cultural impact assessment of Shahrestani Bazaar
Design and implementation of methods:
This study employs both qualitative and quantitative methods for collection and analysis of field data. Document analysis and library research were used to gather information on the intervention, immediate, and inclusive zones using various data including profiles in Tehran Municipality, SCIAs, and ... . These data were highly influential on prioritizing and ordering different stages of the organizational plan and allowed for comparative analysis of various regions of the inclusive area. After identifying variables, focus groups were used to gain more comprehensive and multi-dimensional information on the variables. Focus groups comprised of members of the Shorayari, reliable sources and local residents or owners of businesses in Shahrestani Bazaar as well as public beneficiaries of the organizational plan. In-depth structured and semi-structured interviews were conducted to identify the various issues and problems relating to the inclusive area and were continued to the point of reaching theoretical saturation in the course of assessing identified impacts. Initially, open businesses were surveyed and investigated in order to scrutinize and generalize their viewpoints.
Table 1. Methods and techniques used in this study
ROW DOCUMENTS AND LIBRARY DATA PHASE CASE STUDY
1 Familiarization with the inclusive area Investigating development status of the area Comprehensive project of Tehran Municipality
2 Familiarization with the intervention & inclusive area Identifying region zones Detailed design of the 13th District
3 Theoretical investigations Research literature and conceptual model Books, articles, projects, ...
4 Demographics of the inclusive area Demographic assessments 2006 and 2011 census
5 Social and structural texture of the inclusive area Investigating social and cultural centers Neighborhood profiles
6 Social texture of the inclusive area Investigating social damages in neighborhoods Data on social damages
ROW INTERVIEWEES TOPIC OF INTREST NO. OF INTERVIEWS
1 Business owners of the Bazaar History and problems of the Bazaar and recommended strategies 12interviews/10hours
2 Local residents Problems and recommended strategies 6interviews/3hours
3 Visitors and customers Number of visits, quality of services and goods, problems, and recommended strategies 10interviews/4hours
4 Social deputy of regions Assessing social and demographic conditions and damages 3interviews/4hours
5 Deputy of Beautification of Regions Status of the organizational project for the Bazaar and the impacts of Imam Hossein Square and Hefdah-e Sharivar St 3interviews/3hours
6 Cultural Director of Imam Hossein Square Effectiveness and susceptibility of the Square on and to the Bazaar, cultural plans, recommended strategies 1interview/1hour
ROW FOCUS GROUP TOPIC OF INTEREST NO. OF INTERVIEWS
1 Islamic Association and Shorayari of the Bazaar Problems and recommended strategies 1focus-group/3hours
2 Business owners Impacts of the proposed organizational plan 1focus-group/3hours
ROW QUESTIONNAIRE:TARGET TOPIC OF INTEREST NO. OF QUESTIONNAIRES
1 Questionnaire1: business owners Identifying the current status, land-uses, and ..., problems and recommended strategies 85 questionnaires
Social Image (analyzing the current status)
Existing land-uses and functions of the Bazaar
More than 85 different activities are conducted in 631 different building units in the Shahrestani Bazaar. 15% of the commercial units are shutdown closed or half-closed. The various activities of the bazaar were categorized into 15 main groups wherein clothing and grocery shops and production workshop contribute the most. Clothing stores (clothes, shoes, bags, fabric, and ...) are primarily situated in the northern sector of the bazaar. From north to south, the types of activities of the shops change from those that provide weekly and monthly needs of customers to those that procure their daily needs. Most food and grocery stores including convenience stores, supermarkets, meat shops, and ... are located in Maratjayi Street. Shops located in Jahan Afrouz Street (running east to west) and Parvin Street and Memaran-e Benam Street (both running north to south) mainly deal with the daily needs and products of customers. Grocery shops are the dominant form of stores in these streets.
Table 2. Details on different land-uses and functions of Shahrestani Bazaar
Zoning of the area Residential The commercial texture of the inner sectors of the area is categorized as R1 (residential) which is in complete contrast with the existing land-use of the Bazaar.
Combination of commercial, administrative, services and residential Conflicts between the proposed detailed design of this zone and the existing status will caused a state of standstill, with owners of business and properties refusing to upgrade or renovate the Bazaar. This in turn leads to debility, insecurity, and vulnerability of the Bazaar
Trans-regional scale Marginal sectors of Damavand St, Hefdah-e Shahrivar St, and Eghbal-e Lahoori St are appropriately categorized as S1 (activity zone) and M1 (mixed zone)
Dilapidation Micro lithic
Buildings with more than 50% of their area of a size less than 200m2 are considered micro lithic. Approximately 75% of buildings in 7 municipal blocks in the study area are micro lithic.
Instability Complexes with more than 50% of their buildings categorized as unstable (no structures). 75% of the buildings in the study area are unstable and dilapidated.
Impregnability Due to being in the vicinity of Damavand St, Eghbal-e Lahoori St, Sarollah St, Hefdah-e Shahrivar St, Maratjayi St, and ... which are all 6 or more than 6 meters wide. No sign of impregnability
Sky line Number of stories 77% of the texture is comprised of one, two and three story buildings. The majority of commercial units in the western sectors are one and two story buildings.
Building quality New/maintainable/dilapidated Out of the total 218 units in the study area, only 24% are of appropriate quality. 75% of the units are highly dilapidated and require renovation and repair works.
Land use Residential/commercial/mixed Out of the 218 units in the area (4.6 hectares in area), 124 units are solely commercial or mixed. Although 57% of the units in the area are commercial, they contribute to about 67% of the Bazaar area.
Urban grains Less than 50 / between 50 to 150 m2 Approximately 65% of the units have an area of less than 150 m2, contributing to 32% of the total area of the study region. 20% of the units have an area between 150 and 250 m2, which indicates the fine granularity of the texture.
Ownership Private/public/governmental Out of the total 218 units in the area, 210 units (comprising 86% of the total area) are privately owned. 3 of the units (3.5% share of the area) are endowed and 2 units are owned by the government.
Map 5. Number of stores in the bazaar Map 4. Quality of buildings in the bazaar Map 3. Zoning of the bazaar
Figure 5. Frequent activities of the bazaar
Source: Project researchers
Analyzing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis)
The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats relating to Shahrestani Bazaar were investigated from various dimensions including social and cultural, economic, transportation, and structural aspects. The results are shown below.
Table 3. SWOT analysis
Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats
Social and cultural • High ethnic solidarity among Isfahani and Turkish business owners
• Historical identity of Shahrestani Bazaar
• Cooperation between business owners and trustees
• Access to official social and public organizations such as the Islamic Association of the Bazaar
• Encouraging social interactions through potential facilities such as Saray-e Mahale and Islamic Association
• Inclination towards public participation in the proposed organizational plan • Cultural heterogeneity among individuals
• Dilapidation and disuse of the Rangin Kaman cinema
• Cultural poverty in the bazaar and surrounding neighborhoods
• Social damages such as addiction to drugs, brawls, and ...
• Low social security of the bazaar and surroundings
• Prevalence of bachelor lifestyles and labor houses
• Low pedestrianism and environmental safety
• Low sense of attachment and belonging to the neighborhood
• Damaged reputation of business owners and citizens distrust in the bazaar as caused by the media • Promoting cultural capacities of the are through proper institutional planning
• Hosting cultural events at Imam Hossein Square as well as religious ceremonies
• Creating hangouts such as Saray-e Mahale centers to encourage social interactions
• Improving safety and security with the help of law enforcement forces
• Promoting cultural-recreational qualities of the Bazaar by introducing new and appropriate facilities • Continuation of a top-down approach to cultural planning on part of public and governmental organizations as well as inattention to the needs and demands of the local residents
• Increased number of street junkies and selling of drugs within the area
• Reduced hopes of improving the status of business in the bazaar
Economic • Long history of being the economic hub of the area
• Low prices of residential real-estates and leases
• Employment opportunities, especially for residents
• Supplying daily needs of local residents and surrounding neighborhoods • High prices of commercial real-estates
• Shutting down of 15% of commercial units and workshops
• Recent drops in the number of customers
• Economic collapse in the neighborhood
• Blockage of main points of access to the bazaar and consequent drop in the number of customers
• Street vendors and hawkers around the bazaar
• Lack of incentives from Suspending Organization of Iran and ambiguity of current rules and regulations
• Reduced value of units within the bazaar as well as reductions in assets and income of business owners due to blockage of Imam Hossein Square and Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street • Ownership of lands by the municipality for the implementation of topical and thematic projects
• Competition and reduced commodity prices
• Increased added value of properties after the implementation of the organizational plan
• Renovation projects and measures for improving the economic status of the area
• Drops in the number of customers due to lack of proper facilities
• Economic collapse
Transportation • Favorable geographical location of the bazaar and access to 3 urban regions and 7 neighborhoods
• Growing pedestrian traffic
• Access to Imam Hossein and Darvazeh Sehmiran metro stations as well as Imam Hossein and Shahid Montazari bus rapid transit stations
• Access to main streets of the city • Inadequate parking space in the streets surrounding the bazaar
• Inadequate public parking for consumers and business owners in the bazaar
• Inadequate mans of transportation and access to the bazaar
• Vehicular traffic in the pathways of the bazaar
• Heavy traffic in the streets surrounding the bazaar, particularly Eghbal-e Lahoori St and Iranmehr St
• Blockage of Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street and Imam Hossein Square
• Long distance from metro and bus rapid transit stations
• Creating parking spaces and facilitating means of transportation • Increased traffic in the bazaar area
Structural and functional • Access to 3000 m2 of abandoned area in the margins of Damavand Street (publicly owned)
• Strategic geographical position of the bazaar and vicinity to 3 urban regions and 7 neighborhoods
• Diversity of commercial uses and supply of daily needs of citizens
• Diversity of land uses with trans-regional functions • Visuall pollution at edges, passage floors, and ... of the bazaar
• Lack of an appropriate sewage system (currently roofless water canals are used)
• Inadequate vegetation and green space
• 3 abandoned units contributing to 3000 m2 in area
• Health related issues and prevalence of vermins and insects
• Inadequate trash bins
• High dilapidation of texture
• Inefficient lighting equipments
• Deficiencies in urban furniture and canopies
• Lack of suitable sites for loading and unloading procedures
• Ceassation of rennovations for the reason that commercial strips in Maratjayi St, Jahan Afrouz St, and Eslami St have been categorized as R122 zones (residential zones)
• Fine grained urban fabrics (75% of units)
• Structural instability (75% of units)
• Shortage of services and urban facilities and infrastructure
• Conflicts between various activities
• Abundance of bachelor pads in the higher floors of commercial buildings, turning the bazaar into a dormitory-like environment
• Unofficial occupations such as street vendors
• Traffic-related issues and blockage of certain passages
• Enhancing vitality and security in the Bazaar
• Association between sales and recreation
• Possibility of creating rural-markets considering previous and current records of products sold in the bazaar
• Implementation of the organizational plan based on expert opinion and in consideration of the interests of beneficiaries
• Shahrestani Bazaar Rennovation Project (suggested by Arcolog Consulting Engineers Company)
• Vulnerable infrastructure in case of natural disasters
• Not categorized as dilapidated by the Municipality of Tehran
• Blockage of Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street alongside changes in the corresponding land-use
Source: project reserachers
Stakeholders and beneficiaries
Beneficiaries of the project are identified based on the sphere of influence of the project as well as its uses. The intervention area is limited to Shahrestani Bazaar in Asadi neighborhood, while the inclusive area extends to the 7 neighborhoods in the 7th, 12th and 13th districts of Tehran. Field observations, interviews, and study group meetings were held in order to identify the stakeholders of the project. Certain sessions were also held with the active members of the bazaar to help identify the stakeholders as well as their connections with each other.
Table 4. beneficiaries of the Shahrestani Bazaar Organizational Plan
Row Beneficiaries Stakeholders
1 Citizens Business owners
Visitors, customers, and ...
2 Private institutions Consultants
3 Non-governmental institutions Islamic Association of the Bazaar
The Shrayari of Asadi Neighborhood
4 Governmental institutions Municipality of Tehran
Law enforcement forces
Suspending Organization of Iran
Cultural Management of Imam Hossein Square and Hefdah-e Shahrivar Walkway
Source: project researchers
Specifiying the domain of change is significantly beneficial to assessing outcomes of interventions. This section investigates the outcomes of the project from various aspects and ultimately proceed to the most important outcomes and potential responses to the project based on prearrangements by the research team as well as multiple stages of scoring.
Prior to addressing the main outcomes of the proposed Shahrestani Bazaar Organizational Plan, it seems appropriate to take a closer look at the future prospects for the bazaar both with and without intervention. This way, one can grasp the gravity of the proposed interventions regarding improvements to the bazaar.
Future prospects for Shahrestani Bazaar without intervention
Future prospects for the Shahrestani Bazaar don’t seem much promising without any intervening actions. Without interventions, the bazaar will most definitely go through an economic collapse, as the result of which many individuals will become unemployed, shops and workshops will be shut down, and customers will disappear. This in turn expedites the dilapidation of the bazaar, expands insecurity ascribed to rising number of bachelor pads at various locations including shutdown factories, increased number of retired spaces, prevalence of substance use and drug dealers and other social damages. This way, the Shahrestani Bazaar will be transformed into an island of social damage within the center of the city, right next to Imam Hossein Square and Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street, forestalling any other measures related to these areas.
Figure 6. Future prospects for Sharestani Bazaar without intervention
Future prospects for Sharestani Bazaar in the case of intervention
The Bazaar obviously has a lot to gain from the proposed intervention including improvements in the structure of the bazaar via rennovative actions, cessation of economic recession, reduced social damages, etc. Increased presence of citizens and customers will also add to the economic prosperity of the bazaar as well as improve its dilapidated condition via step by step rennovative actions, which in turn could bring security to the area. The figure below shows the future prospects for Shahrestani Bazaar in the case tha the proposed organizational plan is carried out.
Figure 7. Future prospects for Shahrestani Bazaar in the case of intervention
Rationalization and analysis of outcomes
After determining the sphere of influence of the proposed organizational interventions for Shahrestani Bazaar, comes time to assess the outcomes. These outcomes are concomitant to or following the project’s impacts on structure, health, society, economy, and ... of the bazaar. The following tables show the different types of outcomes as well as their intensities, infiltration into the three main zones (intervention, immediate, inclusive), anticipated or unanticipated, and positivity or negativity.
Table 5. Impact scoping for the proposed organizational interventions
Row Domain Intervention Immediate Inclusive
Type and intensity Direct Direct Indirect
1 Increased customers post intervention Direct/high Direct/high Indirect/moderate
2 Reduced customer rate during intervention Direct/moderate Direct/moderate Indirect/low
3 Minimized blockage Direct/high direct/low
4 Reduced number of street vendors Direct/moderate direct/low
5 Increased sales rates and enhanced economic status post intervention Direct/high Direct/moderate
6 Supplying certain costs by the business owners Direct/high
7 Escalated prices of shops and goodwill assets Direct/moderate Direct/moderate Indirect/low
8 Increased rent Direct/moderate Direct/moderate Indirect/low
9 Increased customer and business owner satisfaction with health conditions of the bazaar Direct/high Direct/high Indirect/moderate
10 Improved food health and safety as well as other products of the bazaar Direct/high Direct/moderate Indirect/moderate
11 Increased customer and business owner satisfaction with the aesthetics of the bazaar Direct/moderate Direct/moderate Indirect/moderate
12 Increased customer and business owner satisfaction with store facades Direct/moderate Direct/moderate Indirect/moderate
13 Heightened sense of peace and tranquility among customers when making purchases Direct/high Direct/moderate Indirect/moderate
14 Increased security Indirect/moderate Indirect/moderate Indirect/low
15 Reduced number of junkies Indirect/moderate Indirect/moderate Direct/low
16 Decreased sales of drugs and narcotics Indirect/moderate Indirect/moderate Direct/low
17 Low rate of street brawls Indirect/moderate Indirect/moderate Direct/low
18 increased sense of institutional trust in public organizations such as the municipality
Cumulative/moderate Cumulative/moderate Cumulative/moderate
19 Heightened sense of belonging and attachment to the bazaar and the surrounding neighborhoods Cumulative/high Cumulative/high Cumulative/moderate
20 Higher hopes for structural and economic developments Cumulative/high Cumulative/high
21 Increased social capital for business owners Cumulative/moderate Cumulative/low
22 Decreased satisfaction of citizens and business owners Cumulative/high Cumulative/high Cumulative/high
Green: post intervention /yellow: during intervention
Source: project researchers
Proposed executive strategies for Shahrestani Bazaar
The proposed strategies for the Sharestani Bazaar Organizational Plan according to phase one (analysis of the current status of the bazaar and investigation of problems and issues) and phase two (impacts and outcomes of the plan) of the study fall in 4 categories of social-cultural, economic, transportation, structural-functional. Accordingly, the most notable strategies are those which aim to increase the number of customers and presence of citizens in the bazaar in order to egress from current economic recessions. The outcomes of these strategies could themselves inspire further changes for the betterment of the bazaar. One must consider that the pronounced quality of the bazaar is economic, ergo any and all plans for development must be in accordance with this central quality so as to attain optimal outcomes. The table below lists the 4 mentioned categories of proposed actions.
Table 6. Executive strategies
Domain Strategy Executive plan
Social-cultural Increased public participation and interaction Collaboration of Saray-e Mahale with business owners in regards to utilizing the Saray-e Mahales for encourage social interactions
Group formation among business owners to undertake certain proceedings
Proper planning for collaboration with business owners to participate in the improvement of the bazaar
Citizens’ training and cultural promotion Collaboration between Saray-e Mahale and business owners for hosting awareness training courses for business owners
Hosting events at the behest of business owners (needs assessment)
Amelioration of social damages Improved interaction between the bazaar and law enforcement forces for reducing social damages and enhancing security
Measures for increasing citizens’ presence in the bazaar and improving public supervision over open spaces
Organizational plan and its impacts on improving social and cultural conditions Proper planning for the cooperation of business owners in the proposed organizational plan
Groundworks for restablishing the Rangin Kaman Cinema
Attentiveness to insecure spaces of the bazaar and improved lighting
Economic Resolving economic issues and obstacles Organizing hawkers and street vendors
Improved cooperation between trustees of the bazaar and authorities for resolving potential and ongoing issues
Engagement of citizens Establishing vertical parking in abandoned areas of the bazaar to encourage and facilitate further engagement of citizens
Expediting renovation plans by means of issuing cogent packages and licenses for aggregation measures
Economic organization plan Improved customer services through organizational plans and attentiveness to customer needs
Economic organization of the bazaar (proceedings for customer engagement)
Transportation Improved traffic conditions Vertical parking for reducing traffic
Transporation organization plan Improved commute within the bazaar and availability of shopping carts
New traffic laws for controlling vehicular traffic, especially at certain hours of the day
Structural-functional Required modifications in documents issued by higher authorities Approvals for the renovation of dilapidated regions of the bazaar and complementary refurbishment plans
Designating the current land-use of the bazaar by higher authorities in order to instigate further actions and withdraw from current state of idleness
Improved structure Utilizing the large abandoned area of the bazaar for vertical parking
Future prospects Establishing a rural-bazaar in consideration of current and previous products of the bazaar
Sturctural organization plan Attentiveness to infrastructure
Determining state of affairs for certain internal units of the bazaar to be utilized in the proposed organizational plan
Conclusion and executive proposition
Social and cultural impact assessment studies must ultimately proffer certain executive propositions aiming to reduce the negative outcomes of the project, while promoting its positive impacts. Accordingly, the previous section discussed 4 categories of executive interventions. The following will be a brief summary of the proposed strategies.
According to the findings of the study, the most notable factor about the bazaar, which must be considered in any potential development projects, is its economic orientation. Therefore, any interventions must be done in consideration of this economic orientation. Improving the economic status of the bazaar could indeed bring about further enhancements of other aspects. The most notable issue concerning Sharestani Bazaar is its current state of economic recessesion, which is the result of numerous actions including drops in the number of customers, blockage of the western entries (Imam Hossein Square and Hefdah-e Shahrivar Street), inadequate parking, lack of proper facilities for shopping, insufficient public spaces, green spaces, and recreational spaces for children, and ... . Withdrawing from this current state of economic depression requires certain measures counting of actions to establish vertical parking in the northern sector; improved commute within the bazaar and attentiveness to its sidewalks, legal actions to designatie the function of the area and its commercial uses in the proposed detailed plan, imrpved security and amelioration of social damages within the bazaar as well as its surroundings.
Public surveys and elections and empowerment of business owners for further collaboration could also expedite the executive procedures of the plan as well as decrease its accompanied costs. In a way, citizens must feel that they are part of the plan, and a most important one at that.
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