Urbani izziv Volume 31, No. 2, December 2020
Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, School of Architecture and Art, Mashhad, Iran
Art University of Isfahan, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Isfahan, Iran
Quality of life in neighbourhoods undergoing renewal: Evidence from Mashhad, Iran
Urban decay is one of the most critical challenges in urban development, whereby old urban districts fall into decrepitude and face serious social, economic, and physical problems. Governments thus implement renewal projects to revitalize physical and functional structures, restore socioeconomic capacity, and improve residents’ quality of life. However, ignoring the complex nature of intervention in old urban areas may have undesirable consequences, including an additional decline in residents’ quality of life. This article assesses residents’ quality of life in neighbourhoods undergoing renewal, supported by experience from Mashhad, Iran. Using a mixed-methods design, it combines quantitative and qualitative methods of impact assessment, including questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, georeferenced data, and direct observation. The results show that a lack of sustainable financing for the Samen Renewal Project has had undesirable physical, sociocultural, and economic effects in the historical district of Mashhad and significantly reduced residents’ quality of life due to focusing on the interests of tourists, pilgrims, and especially private developers.
quality of life, urban transformation, urban renewal, urban decay, Iran