Urban Park Design in Iran: Investigation of Factors Affecting Users’ Psychological Benefits

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Iran University of Science and Technology, ,Tehran,Iran.

2 B.Sc. State University of New York-College of Environmental Science and Forestry, New York, United States.

3 Professor, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.


Park design in Iran has followed the traditional European style since the Qajar dynasty. The
familiarity of Iranians with the spirit of Persian gardens and the low quality of the newest parks is such that users
prefer ancient geometrical Persian gardens. Today, those responsible for the design of urban green spaces lacking
examples differing from the traditional and thus they are in need of an adequate set of guidelines for how to design for
present conditions, users, and their needs. This research focuses on the relationship between park design components
and users’ psychological restoration regarding their preferences and perceptions to increase the quality of parks,
diminish vandalism, and increase user agency. Psychological restoration is the likeliness that people will be able to
rest and recover their ability to focus. A random sample of 100 Tehranian residents was taken by presenting them
with images depicting 6 urban parks from around their city. The results were analyzed by grouping into categories:
1-similar activities and 2-by counting and categorizing the individual descriptions of components (frequency of words)
contributing to restoration likelihood. Findings showed that the categories mentioned most frequently for high levels
of restoration were natural categories including trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, and water. Findings with low levels
of restoration and recovery consisted of negative contextual conditions and the absence of nature such as high rise
buildings around the parks, lack of trees, and crowds of people. The activities imagined more frequently were playing
and other physical activities, social activities, and relaxation.


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