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Paper Information

Journal:   NAQSHEJAHAN   SPRING-SUMMER 2013 , Volume 3 , Number 1; Page(s) 31 To 42.
 
Paper: 

URBAN SEMIOTICS AND ITS ROLE IN LEGIBILITY AND IDENTIFICATION OF ENVIRONMENT CASE STUDY: NAZI ABAD NEIGHBORHOOD

 
 
Author(s):  MIRGHOLAMI MORTEZA*, SHAHANAGHI AMIR WAEZ, ROBATI MOHAMAD BASHIR
 
* TABRIZ ISLAMIC ART UNIVERSITY, IRAN
 
Abstract: 

Semiology and study of meaning and its effects on users is one of the new approaches that recently have become very popular in urban studies. It can be used as a useful and efficient tool for producing qualitative data out of the city and daily life of citizens and assist urban designers in identifying signs and concepts they represent. In this paper, Nazi Abad Neighborhood in Tehran is explored as a case study in terms of existence of signs, the effects of environmental meanings on different groups of residents and environmental legibility. The objective of this research is to review Lynch’s cognitive mapping approach critically and to study the effects of meanings embedded in urban elements and signs on creation of people’s environmental cognitive maps and legible environments. This is conducted by using surveys, cognitive maps, fieldwork interviews and photo-analysis method in the neighborhood. The findings, parallel to some other critics of Lynch’s studies, confirm that his five elements are mostly used for faster environmental perception and legibility, not clarity, and operate as functional features and cognitive maps vary depending on age, gender and socio-cultural characteristics of urban dwellers. People, based on their experience, culture, past history, ideology etc. perceive different meanings of the environment and can have specific interpretation of their neighborhoods according to their reading of environmental signs. Analyzing Cognitive maps of Naziabad residents and other aspects such as meaningful elements, symbolic buildings, memories and daily experiences revealed that these features, besides affecting cognitive maps, can work as a language via which residents can connect themselves to their environment. This confirms Peponis ideas who believed that there is a difference between people’s perception of and urban form based on their experience, memory, culture and everyday meanings and its verbal description. He believes that people usually use significant visual elements of an environment and not their reading or personal meaningful elements for way-finding or giving address to others. Therefore, urban designers can make environmental design and transformations with regards to elements that are meaningful in private and public life of people and provide an opportunity to create place attachment.

 
Keyword(s): URBAN SEMIOTICS, URBAN ENVIRONMENT, COGNITIVE MAPS, LEGIBILITY, NAZI ABAD
 
References: 
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