Evaluating the Factors Contributing to the Quality of Communal Open Space in Rural Settlements: A Case Study on Abbas Abad Village in Shahrud Town
Villages are the first type of communal life throughout a natural arena and known as the cornerstone of production for biological needs, which is based on group work and mass production. Such a society requires communal spaces for preparing the required space for interactions, the partnership of different groups, information transfer, and improving interactions and social relations. Communal space is a physical setting to encounter with the social life. These spaces with their roles in improving the life quality could trigger the continuity of life in rural areas. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the factors contributing to the quality of communal open space in rural settlements, which has prepared in the case study in Abbas Abad village in Shahrud. The place, in addition to the role of a way stations, has a socio-cultural position in the life of residents. The Abbas Abad Caravanserai and the fabric of the village are integrated, in a way that despite their special performance are interdependent. The yard of this caravanserai is known as the main square and communal space of the village and is the place for collective events and daily activities of the residents. This feature distinguished the caravanserai as a unique sample. This study is descriptive-analytical, in terms of method and qualitative, in terms of type of research. Data were gathered through available documents in the literature of communal space. To reach the objective, the communal space initially studied generally, then the rural settlements were considered. To achieve the qualitative principles of rural communal space is limited due to lack of enough literature in this field. The urban and rural space, despite some differences in nature, have some similarities since they are the living space. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the qualitative principles of urban and rural communal space have some commonalities. Such that some qualitative principles of urban communal space could be used for preserving the natural values of village and for improving the rural society. Among these studies and based on the initial observations in the area under study, the qualitative criteria of communal spaces were detected and after the general classification, the mutual concepts were extracted. Then, by designing a conceptual method of the study and by adapting the qualitative criteria and the proposed method, four components, namely “functional”, “experimental-aesthetic”, “social”, “and “environmental” and 23 criteria were defined. After the formation of the theoretical foundation, the study is carried out in the field research and survey area using data collection tools, observation, questionnaire, and in-depth interview with rural people. The size of the statistical sample at 95% level of confidence should be 209 people (based on the Cochran formula) to be able to generalize the sample of the study to the entire statistical population. The reliability of the questionnaire, based on Cronbach's alpha, is 0.9, which is indicative of its high reliability. The obtained results were analyzed using the SPSS Software and different statistical methods, including average data, one sample T-test, and Freidman test. Results indicate that the communal space of Abbas Abad village, which is formed in the yard of the Caravanserai, should have some qualities, like “economic self-reliance”, “mixed uses”, “walkability”, “integration of building with fabric”, “flexibility”, “safety  and security”, “attracting traveler and pilgrims”, “physical permeability”, “inclusiveness”, “climate comfort”, “attention to context”, “efficiency”, “respect to building,s authenticity”, “legibility”, “sensory richness”, “visual permeability”, “identity and sense of place”, “collective memory”, “strengthening rural character”, “local management and participation”, “sociability”, “link to nature” and “environmental cleanliness”. By applying these criteria in the yard of the Caravanserai and by establishing the collective life, we would be able to distinguish the role of this building in everyday life of rural people.
Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Housing And Rural Environment, Volume:37 Issue: 164, 2019
41 - 54
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