Villa City

The Theory of Good City Form

Hamidreza Sheibani, Urbanization Researcher


Constructing a strongly robust mental illustration of city, assembles the principles of the equilibrium of people with environment. Whereas, the values and aims figure the landscape and also form in the landscape. Therefore, the landscape of city is the objectivity result of the city, is a kind of a symbol that dissect the cultural values and ideals somatic and via the urban form cultural customs, the realities of life and personal experiences join together. In this paper we probe and identify the effective components in urban form of Shiraz, which include the configuration, image, face and the spirit of the city.


We call the total effects which an observer has from several cities in his mind and it is from the visual effects the configuration of the city. Now the configuration of Shiraz city is the result of viewing the Shiraz field from the mountain chink in which we greet the emerge Hafez and literate Saadi from the far way and from the other side, the colorful and covered up tile dome which is demonstrative of sacredness of this city. The gardens around the city which pretense beautiful cedar trees in them, and then Allah o Akbar narrow and Quran Gate is seen which are the urban configuration, introduce Shiraz city. The input of the city, sky line, space, profile and so on are the effective factors in morphology of the configuration of the city. The inputs of old Shiraz were: Quran Gate, Esfahan Gate, Bagheshah Gate, Kazeroon Gate, Shah Daee Allah Gate, Ghasabkhane Gate and Saadi Gate, which now we just witness Quran Gate in input of the city. The sky line which is seen with the line around the volumes, the total volume or the whole of the configuration, what is seen in horizontal development of Shiraz city and the architecture’s consonant altitude element the desirable sky line is seen along the cedar trees and adorable gardens. Whenever the light settles behind the configuration, a vivid surface is seen overhead of the sky line which is called the city profile. Now that whatever of the cedar and Naranj trees is at the corner and aside of our city, religious buildings dome, like Shahe Cheragh (peace be upon him) is seen, is the profile of old Shiraz. The purpose of full and empty volumes in Shiraz city is the empty space at Toopkhane square, Mashgh square, the area of the yard and garden of Karimkhani building (castle, court, Zandiyeh caravansary, Vakil mosque and its forecourt, Nazar garden and so on) and the full space also include buildings and urban elements such as the bridges, reservoirs, bathhouses, malls, and so on.


The image of the city propounds five performance dimensions (vitality, sense, fit, access, super intendency and authority) and two values or meta-criteria (efficiency and justice) for measuring goodness of the city. Elements like landmark, path, edge, node, and district include the image of the city. Landmark is effective in identifying the image of the city and makes orientation easy in city. In Shiraz city, which the purpose is not the current Shiraz, but our issue is the old Shiraz in which the traditional system of urbanization was obtained. Dome of Shahe Cheragh (peace be upon him) is like a cameo in city was a majesty landmark which still this holy landmark is the symbol of Shiraz city, now the other landmark of the city, is the artillery square and Zandiye complex. The path which is an axis and the wide and regular street that passes between pleasant gardens and was led to city fortifications like the Chaharbagh, of course in Pahlavi era, Lotfalikhan and Karimkhan streets (perpendicular to primary axis of city mall) were assigned the path. The edge is a borders and gap between two continues parts of city, like the Dry river of Shiraz, Bamo heights, Derak, Sabzpooshan and Maharloo. Accumulation of buildings or the activities of community of people is called the node. So that in urban texture of Shiraz, mosques including Atigh central mosque, new mosque of Atabakan and Vakil mosque, Artillery square and Mashgh square, Khan school, Haft Tanan emphasis, Chehel Tanan emphasis and the frontage of the houses and the urban elements are all social nodes of city. The district which has a clear definition; districts in old texture depend on religious, racial and economic properties separates districts residents. Heidari khane districts: Eshagh Beig district, Bazar Morgh district, Balakafad district, Darbe Shahzade district, Shah square district, and Nemati khane districts which includes Sarbagh district, Sare Dozak district, Sange Siah district, Labe Aab district, Darbe-No district, and Hebrew district.


Cityscape, space and furniture are the elements of the city face. The cityscape includes the components of scale and fitness of the layout, building style, structure, materials, color and texture. The urban space also includes the elements like public and semi-public spaces and the private and semi-private spaces which is the identity provider of the urban space. In cityscape of Shiraz, continuous and horizontal cityscape except the especial buildings which the height increases or dome is added. In the discus of scale, the urban elements are larger scales than the generic buildings like the greatness and grandeur of Zandiye complex toward to the other buildings, which the golden ratio is seen in architecture fine works of this city and mostly because of the warm and dry climate zone, the brick and clay materials is frequently used in architectural construction of Shiraz. The city color and texture are also cream and dusty which the gardens and the green spaces show us beautiful spots at the background of cream and dusty color of this city. The arts of brickwork, tiling, stone carving, mirror decoration, making Mogharnas, inlaid (marquetry) and painting are the most used arts in architecture and Shiraz ideology. The sprit of city  includes the human properties of city like people and activities, motion characteristics, the dialect and the sound which in people’s social and cultural life, activities of commercial art of people, Shirazi dialect, the smell of Bahar Naranj is effective in the city. One of the cultural characteristics of Iranian is that we don’t accept the less things and we are satisfied until we end up anything to poetic rank: for example, in architect opinion, bazar must not be a place just for dealing but it must to reach to the poet rank, it means the Vakil Bazar and won’t calm down until the shiraz Nasir-Al-Molk mosque poet to be written. Iranian poeple doesn't get satisfied until changing the soil to the gold, and anywhere to find an opportunity get it done.


On this base, protecting the historical texture and good from of this city is not the only reason to regret of the past but also is, to be turned the lights of this alchemy on, in our culture until somebody wants to use. And also, we hope the current civil and the urbanization not to blemish the good city form of Shiraz until the next generations instead of walk and see and breathing in this beautiful city refer to archive of the old pictures, talking of the old citizens and watching the elegance of the descriptions of it. On the old days most of our people were alchemist or lap­­­idarist, but nowadays there are so little and secretive alchemists and also, they themselves are in category of artworks.