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Type: Thesis
Title: Dilapidated Abandoned Buildings (DABs) and Socio-Spatial Vulnerability: Application of Spatial Liminality for Revitalising Historic Iranian Cities
Author: Tavakoli, Hamed
Issue Date: 2019
School/Discipline: School of Architecture and Built Environment
Abstract: The research seeks to identify socio-spatial vulnerability through the lens of liminality to recalibrate current revitalisation programs and policies in historic Iranian cities. The research identifies dilapidated-abandoned buildings (DABs) as a potential threat and an emerging problem since the 1930s. DABs initiated when modern roads cut through the fabric of historic urban environments. DABs have a deleterious effect, created as a result of modern socio-spatial transformation. Such problems have stigmatised Iranian cities and transformed them into super-cheap immigrant ghettos. DABs and historic areas are neither evincing their previous characteristics (e.g. structure/land use) nor becoming a part of contemporary cities. Therefore, both DABs and heritage fabrics are suspended in-between the old and new, in a state that could be considered as a ‘liminal’ condition. This exploratory case study has discovered two types of spatial liminality in historic Iranian cities. Firstly, type-A, which has become associated with the influx of non-local disadvantaged residents, who attempt to obtain cheaper housing options in conditions similar to refugee camps. Type-A can assist individuals or groups in non-Iranian disadvantaged communities experience their liminal rites of passage. The liminal population may become vulnerable, suspended in-between their past and future. Secondly, type-B, which may be extrapolated to have existed among residents during the medieval epoch in historic urban contexts. Type-B endows a strong sense of territorial-interdependence on residents, which facilitates rites of passage among heterogeneous social groups in traditional neighbourhoods. As a quantitative inquiry, the research sets up a numerical method for understanding correlations between DABs and several aspects of spatial liminality, specified by ordinal/categorical variables. Thus, mixed methods in data collection and analysis is used, based on pilot studies, street surveys, field studies and in-depth interviews. The investigation was conducted in fifteen urban blocks selected as case studies, located in seven urban tissues in three historic Iranian cities of Kashan, Isfahan and Yazd. The collected data is analysed through four layers of spatial liminality, namely: spatial, demographic, and attitudinal, along with an inquiry of the implications regarding the current planning context. Data analysis is conducted to measure the maximum variation of DABs as a dependent variable against several aspects of spatial liminality as independent variables in selected urban blocks. The analysis demonstrates a significant association between the extent of DABs, levels of spatial liminality, the devaluation of properties and ramifications of the current socio-spatial planning context. The discourse highlights spatial liminality as an analytical tool for understanding the vulnerability of DABs in historic Iranian cities. The argument explicitly advocates that because of their deleterious-liminal qualities, DABs need to be re-utilised into existing land resources, while maintaining their cultural heritage value, to provide pathways out of liminality type-A. The discussion elaborates on urban elements that facilitate spatial liminality type-B in historic Iranian cities. This interpretation demonstrates a guideline that can facilitate morphologically-informed design methods, precisely in historic areas where there are no reasonable economic stimulations for reutilising DABs. The research allows practitioners, policymakers and academicians to understand the revitalisation of historic cities through the lens of spatial liminality.
Advisor: Sharifi, Ehsan
Peters, Alan
Westbrook, Nigel
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Architecture and Build Environment, 2020
Keywords: Spatial liminality
dilapidated abandoned buildings (DABs)
socio-spatial vulnerability
revitalisation of historic cities
territorial interdependence
Provenance: This thesis is currently under Embargo and not available.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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