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The "pedestrian Realm" As A Genesis Of Commerce: Bazaars Of The East And Mixed-use Centers Of The West

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The "pedestrian Realm" As A Genesis Of Commerce: Bazaars Of The East And Mixed-use Centers Of The West

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Title: The "pedestrian Realm" As A Genesis Of Commerce: Bazaars Of The East And Mixed-use Centers Of The West
Author: Niazi, Zoha
Abstract: Commerce is an ancient economical framework that enables establishment of social ties, improving cultural relationships, and trading values as well as commodities (Edgu et al., 2012). Different trends have taken place throughout history in this revenue based area, from the old Silk Road trading system to new department stores of this era. At the same time, exponential rise of the pressure of motorized traffic into the open public urban space has made non-motorized users such as pedestrians uncomfortable, but recently they started to be given more attention (Morgan, 1996), through mixed used environment especially in western cultures. The review of design literature illustrates that the presence of people is a key to successful urban public space (PPS, 2005; Cooper Marcus et al, 1998; Gehl, 1987),. Public spaces are argued to attract people. Spaces such as Southlake Town Square, Legacy Town Center and West 7th, Fort Worth have been recognized locations in North Texas illustrates sign of such unique commercial oriented public settings.. Alternatively, in the East side of the world, there are developments that date back to centuries before, that are argued to be successful in the same way, spaces such as bazaars in Tabriz, Isfahan and Kerman (Masoudinejad, 2005, Moosavi, 2005, Kermani, 2009). However, current literature seem to be limited in explaining the physical components of pedestrian realm that makes these places function the way they are. The purpose of this research is to document and assess the physical make up of the pedestrian realm in higher density mixed-use commercial oriented settings of the East and the West in order to gain greater understanding of pedestrian environments' role and inform future design challenges with cross-cultural references in similar urban settings. The study focuses on three acclaimed sites in each setting, Southlake Town Square, Legacy Town Center and West 7th Fort Worth in North Texas and bazaars of Tabriz, Isfahan and Kerman in Iran. The thesis primarily utilizes qualitative research methods and case study analysis techniques to answers the questions set forth by the research. Study uses interviews (Taylor and Bogdan 1998), observations (Francis and Marcus, 1998; Francis, 2001) as well as map analysis techniques (Wheeler and Koo, 2011). This research attempts to assess the physical make up of the pedestrian realm by examining the knowledge and the perceptions of three major stakeholders groups of such environments: pedestrian, designer and developer/planner's point of view, to provide broader qualitative information about each of these settings. Case studies and site observations are utilized to further explore and the themes emerged from the interviews.In conclusion, both mixed-use centers and bazaars settings are strongly influenced by commerce and retail to bring in pedestrian flow as well as other important elements such as variety of other uses and rich space configurations. Although the sites studied as part of this research are different at first glance they represent much common ground in terms of their physical characteristics and pedestrian realm qualities that contribute to pedestrian traffic, and presence. In all of these settings human scale played a very important role in the design, and activity watching was the most important use of the space. The configuration of the pedestrian realm in the case studies helps to suggest and understand design and planning criteria that is beneficial for other commercial settings in different cultures.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10106/11039
Date: 2012-07-25

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