From Bazaar to Shopping Centers: Analysis of the Evolution of Modern Commercial Spaces in Tehran

Impacts of modernism on urban spaces can be observed in specific historic periods of Iran cities. This issue is important because these public spaces have undergone scale and performance alternations. Tehran, as the capital of country and as the showcase of alternations, has been the symbol of modern city and today is exposed to increasingly accelerated changes. As one of public spaces types, commercial spaces have concurred Tehran and dominated other functionalities. Due to increasing application of commercial spaces, this paper studied their development trend from traditional bazars to specialized markets, centralized stores, malls and the like. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the growth and development trend of commercial spaces in Tehran. This is a qualitative and descriptiveanalytical research in which data collection tools such as documentation, library and field surveys such as noncooperative observation were employed throughout the city. ArcGIS software was applied for results’ analysis. For showing the spatial development trend of commercial spaces in different periods, maps were used. The results of study revealed formation of different commercial centers from the beginning of contemporary era in different forms which can be classified into several groups. First, the commercial centers and commercial unitsof Tehran were in the form of single-core units and then linearly developed around the central cores (streets and new markets); afterwards; they exhibited themselves in the format of new specialized markets. Spatial forms of this functionality in Tehran, from traditional form of bazar in the center to specialized markets in the surrounding regions of Tehran, reflect increasing demand for these spaces and also shortage of growth space. The results also revealed that formation of these markets, regarding spatial limitations in Tehran, will be enhanced in the surrounding areas of Tehran. Spatial alternations of commercial applications in the cities highlight the role of urban planning and introduce commercial application as a crucial driving force in formation of cities.
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