Ecological Quality Improvement of Urban Landscapes with Emphasis on Sustainable Development Principles Case Study: River of Darabad Valley, Tehran, Iran

By Ahmadi, Ferial; Sadeghi, Ali Reza et al. | European Journal of Sustainable Development, July 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Ecological Quality Improvement of Urban Landscapes with Emphasis on Sustainable Development Principles Case Study: River of Darabad Valley, Tehran, Iran


Ahmadi, Ferial, Sadeghi, Ali Reza, Eskandarinezhad, Ali Reza, European Journal of Sustainable Development


1. Introduction

Beautiful natural manifestations such as rivers, mountains, bushes and like that can be in circulation across city structures and embody life in cities are left without any plan. They can function not only as urban signs but also in an alive and dynamic ecosystem framework. They can equilibrate the ecological and bio- environmental structure of cities and transform to visitors' memories. Memories that result in formulation of citizen' identities and are considered as an important factor in knowing city.

In recent years, urbanization has always experienced ever increasing growth. In that, the last decades of the past century witnessed 100% increase in urban population, comprising about 45% of the world population. Besides advantages such as accessibility to clean water, hygiene, and so like, the negative effects of urbanization on environment, especially degradation and pollution of urban environment, cannot be ignored. Changes in the climate, reduction in biodiversity and increased pollution, largely caused by the growth of technology taking place without consideration to the environment, are contributing to the destruction of the Earth's natural heritage. A lack of logical interaction between the city and the natural world combined with poorly designed technology and infrastructure is resulting in a degradation of the ecological quality of the environment and ultimately the standard of human life.

In fact, due the reduction of ecologically valuable natural landscapes and regions inside urban areas, which taken as important parts of urban landscape, several environmental issues have been emerged. To decrease environmental issues of today's cities and reduce negative impacts of urbanization on urban environment, stronger presence of nature and natural elements in urban landscape (as the environment and container of human activities) and enrichment of experiences in understanding natural elements of urban landscape are necessary for citizens. Since, urban landscape is comprised of natural and human-made environments which always provide the ground for human activities. Therefore, human activities are affecting and affected by natural and man-made urban landscape. In effect, analysis and assessment of ecological qualities of urban landscape through understanding, investigation, and analysis of mosaic patterns and structures, allow for improving ecological values of urban landscape, which finally contribute to preservation of these landscapes for future generations. It is evident that using sustainable development principles in designing urban landscapes, sympathetic to the needs of living beings, together with high quality natural resources, benefit not only the environment but the welfare and satisfaction of citizens. In fact, sustainable development principles and evaluation of the natural context should be the fundamental part in the process of improvement of the quality of urban landscape. The present research has been conducted in order to preserve and manage Tehran's River of Darabad Valley landscape as a living, dynamic ecosystem; moreover, to improve the ecological quality of the riverbed through the implementation of sustainable development principles. Process for improving the ecological quality of the River of Darabad Valley through sustainable development is based on descriptive analysis of library research and case study, as well as observation procedures with survey studies.

2. River Valleys in Urban Landscape

There are two standpoints with respect to human's relationship with urban landscape. In one of them, human always ignored his evolutionary history, the way cities formed, and the necessity for maintaining urban landscape. In contrast, from the other perspective, human is aware of his past and unity with everything and all living creatures. Based on the latter, human wisely respect urban landscape and seeks his creative role in this context. With respect to the second point of view, ecology of urban landscape is the study and use of information related to natural patterns and processes of the context and the way it is connected to material world and living creatures (human and other living organisms) in different scales. …

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