A study of urban form : an analysis of the interaction of agencies and structures in the development process, with special reference to the case of Tehran
This study sets out to explain why a particular urban form, the arrangement of urban fabric with its physical and social dimensions, is as it is. It is proposed that urban form is closely related, both as an outcome of and a contributor to, general societal processes through the physical development process by which the urban fabric is produced and its form established. By tracing the interaction of the agencies and structures in this social process and its contexts, the component parts of the development process and their role in determining urban form are identified. It is argued that, in a development process, there are development agencies which operate through certain development factors within interrelated social and physical contexts. Applying this analytical framework to the case of Tehran, after identifying the general characteristics of urban form, the process of development of this urban fabric since the second half of the nineteenth century has been studied. The development agencies and their interrelationships, purposes, and rationalities, as well as their social and physical environments, are investigated. The interaction of these agencies with the development factors is then analysed, the latter including the resources they use, such as finance, land, labour, building materials, and technology; the rules they acknowledge, such as the planning system; and the ideas underlying their production of the space, concepts inherited from previous generations or borrowed from other cultures. These investigations show how the interplay of the agencies and factors of development has resulted in the production of the urban fabric and its particular form. This is an interplay in which a few component parts, resources such as land and finance and rules and ideas such as the planning system and the concepts of space, and the agencies which control and use them, often play the most significant parts. Nevertheless, given the circumstances, other component parts can each gain a decisive role.