Assessment of Landscape Quality of Urban Public Spaces, Case ُtudy: Imam Square in Hamedan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Phd in Urban Design, Faculty of Art & Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan

2 Assistant Professor of Architecture, Faculty of Art & Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

3 MSc in Urban Design, Faculty of Art & Architecture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran.


Public Space Landscape has a multi-dimensional and complex nature, therefore people perception is different for it. Although we can spot urban landscape definition as an over scale of single building architecture in the simplest concept, but it shouldn’t summarize at the physical and visual design. So, whatever can be understood by human senses, it influences on perceptional landscape quality. On the other hand, environment, people, and their activities have an important role in creating the urban space landscape. They create environment vitality. Hence, studying urban landscape need a comprehensive view about subject various dimension. In this comprehensive view, first we should identify urban landscape quality parameters, then we should assess factors relationship for improving them.
Imam square in Hamedan has a special situation in urban structure and attracts most number of various people. Hence, we can knew it the most important public space in city that obtains a context for people daily activities. Although this square has a basic role in urban structure, but don’t have a suitable environmental quality and people aren’t acquiescent than its quality, despite designed building sidewalls, presence of very population, and cultural-historical ceremony accomplishment. On the other hand, although Imam square notes as a cultural heritage, but it sound people don’t tally it as a “Heritage” and “cultural” sign. In fact, verbal landscape of Imam square doesn’t have congruity with a thing we expect of it. So, it is necessary that we assess its landscape and reform it.

Materials & Methods
This paper is a descriptive-analytical and it is based on documental studies and field observations. Research theoretical studies were obtained through library studies and then parameters for evaluating the landscape quality of public space extracted. Then, extracted parameters were surveyed on the case study and main factors importance in quality of public space were specified by using factor analysis method. So, first we prepared questionnaire based on extracted indicators and five-level Likert method. In this research, people in the Imam square are target society. We considered 200 questionnaire based on the Neyman sampling test in order to validity for SPSS analysis (The number of questionnaires are 6 times more than the number of indicators). After the completing questionnaires, we input data to SPSS software for analyzing them with factor analysis, extracting main factors, and calculating case study scores. Then, we used linier multi-variable regression method for assessing relationship between extracted factors and landscape quality of square. At the end, we specified landscape quality improvement priorities of Imam Square by assimilating factor coefficient and people dissatisfaction mean.

Discussion of Results
People realize urban landscape and public space in various fields and views. So, for invitation of various people satisfaction that presence in urban spaces, it is necessary to identify whatever people percept truly and effort for improvement them. Therefore, in first step, we need to identify landscape main parameters and then assess them in the case study. In a generic division, we can classify public space landscape parameters in four story: “physical”, “functional”, “elegance”, “moral- conceptual- sensory”. After the completing questionnaires, we input data to SPSS software for creating early data matrix. This matrix has 200 row (one row per one questionnaire) and 32 column (one column per one variable). Based on factor analysis method, two variable including “Details” and “Graffiti” have a score lower than 0.4 in Communality Matrix, hence they don’t suitable for factor analysis method, so they lay away from variables set. Finally, when we run model with 30 rest variables, variable quantities in Communality Matrix became larger than 0.4 and KMO value became equal 0.780 and Sig. value became 0.000. That these values mean correlation between variables is suitable for analyzing.
At the end, the variables are classified in 9 landscape quality factors. That sum of aggregation variance of 9 factors are equal 74.78. After determine the number of factors, the Rotated Component Matrix is formed that this shows position of variables in each factor and we can do naming and interpreting the factors. These factors include:
- The first factor (Behavioral Landscape): This factor include 12.93% of total variance and is related to “Sidewalls Activity & Land Use”, “Vendors & Peddlers”, “Vehicle Movement”, “Pedestrian Movement”, “Discipline & Arrangement”, “Sense of Security”, and “Noise Condition”.
- The second factor (Supplementary Landscape): This factor include 11.83% of total variance and is related to “Urban Facilities & Equipment”, “Coloring”, “Urban Advertising”, and “Decorating”.
- The third factor (Space Formation): This factor include 10.45% of total variance and is related to “Human Scale”, “Enclosure”, “Spatial Configuration”, and “Buildings Sidewall”.
- The fourth factor (Pedestrian Facilities): This factor include 9.37% of total variance and is related to “Urban Furniture”, “Flooring”, “Pedestrian Direction”, and “Guidance Signage”.
- The fifth factor (Nightly Landscape): This factor include 8.26% of total variance and is related to “Night Activity” and “Light”.
- The sixth factor (Natural Landscape): This factor include 6.89% of total variance and is related to “Green Space” and “Fountain”.
- The seventh factor (Place Prestige): This factor include 6.15% of total variance and is related to “Central Statue’, “Valuable Buildings”, and “Cultural & Artistic Events”.
- The eighth factor (Environmental Health): This factor include 4.67% of total variance and is related to “Cleanliness” and “Olfaction”.
- The ninth factor (Semantic Landscape): This factor include 4.23% of total variance and is related to “Identify” and “Vitality”.
When we specify landscape main factors of Imam square, we need to discover the relationship between these factors and landscape quality of Imam square. So, “Standardized Coefficient of Beta” is calculated by using the linear multi-variable regression analysis technique. Then three values include “Component Score Coefficient”, “Standardized Coefficient of Beta” and “Dissatisfaction Average of each Variables” are multiplied together and priority’s variables are specified.

Research findings show basic parameters in landscape quality of Imam square are regularity “Noise Condition”, “Vehicle Movement”, “Vendors & Peddlers”, “Urban Furniture”, “Sense of Security”, “Guidance Signage”, “Cleanliness”, “Light”, “Pedestrian Behavior”, and “Night Activities”. Therefore we can offer these general conclusions:
- A significant proportion of space landscape quality is influenced by “Behavioral Landscape”. Therefore we must notice to prospects of space perception and function besides offering two-dimension and three-dimension plans. So that in Imam square, we observe beside physical and structural quality of square, other aspects such as “Noise Condition”, “Sense of Security”, and “Cleanliness” Don’t have a favorable condition.
- “Vehicle Movement” in public spaces is one of the most effective items on landscape quality. Hence in Imam square, vehicle movement is one of the organizing action priorities; also this variable effect on other variable such as “Noise Condition” and “Sense of Security” straightly.
- One of the main parameters for assessing the landscape quality of public spaces is condition of them in different times. Hence, in Imam square, both “Nightly Landscape” variables are among landscape organizing priorities of Imam square.
- Whereas urban public space landscape is percept by pedestrian view, therefore the facilities are considered for viewer (pedestrian) have a key importance. Hence, in Imam square, pedestrian facilities such as “Urban furniture” and “Guidance Signage” are as landscape organizing priorities of Imam square.
Finally, we can offer bellow items for improvement of landscape quality of Imam square of Hamedan:
1. Traffic adjustment and management in square
2. Preventing vehicle stops in square
3. Supervising on vendors and peddlers activities
4. Suitable designing and locating of urban furniture, panels, and guidance signage
5. Lighting organizing
6. Collection of garbage and disposal of surface water
7. Organizing the pedestrian movement directions.


Main Subjects