Restoring the Qanats as a Traditional Water Transfer System: A Sustainable Approach

Document Type : Original Paper


1 Scientific member, Department of Architecture engineering, Lahijan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Lahijan, Iran

2 Master of landscape Architecture, Tehran University, Iran.

3 Ph.D. Candidate, International University of Imam Khomeini, Collage of Architecture and Urban Planning, Qazvin, Iran.


In a wide range of the central boundaries of the Iranian plateau, encompassing an important part of the arid areas in Asia, the phenomenon of desertification is a long his tory. In this arid and waterless expanse, living conditions are fully dependent on access to water due to the supremacy of the Kavirs and deserts. The most important and oldest ways of obtaining water have been Qanat or Kariz (underground water canal). Here, we show that Qanat is one of the most important environmental sustainable tools in the local-regional environments of the Iranian plateau. Qanat improves the unfavorable conditions of the earth and the natural bed of the region along with its path and helps the ecological duration of the environment. At the end of its path, in the place of its rising (emergence), Qanat is regarded as one of the most original factors in shaping, formating, and duration of microclimates. However, in view of the dependency on the biological, economic and occupational (vocational) activities, the presence of Qanat and its entry to the boundary of the flourishing conditions affect the durable formation and shaping social and economic activities in its habitats along with the preparation of the groundwork for durable ecological aspects. As a result, by collecting and classifying library documents through a qualitative analysis, this study tries to present solutions concerning the sustainable use of Qanat at present and in future through the emphasis on the effect of Qanat on various ecological and social aspects of its surrounding environment and the necessity of preservation and revival of this important human innovation as a historical heritage.


Acheampong, R. A., & Anokye, P. A. (2013). Understanding Households’ Residential Location Choice in Kumasi’s Peri-Urban Settlements and the Implications for Sustainable Urban Growth. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 3(9), 60-70.
Bangdome-Dery, A., Eghan, G. E., & Afram, S. O. (2014). Overview of Self-Help (Self-Build) Housing Provision in Ghana:Policies and Challenges. Developing Country Studies, 4(6), 77-89.
Binns, J., Maconachie, R., & Tanko, A. (2003). Water, land and health in urban and peri-urban food production: the case of Kano, Nigeria. Kano water LDD revised, 14(5), 431–444. doi:10.1002/ldr.571.
Dung-Gwom, J. Y. ( 2008). The Nature of Peri-Urban Developments in Jos, Nigeria. World Congress on Housing XXXVIIAHS.
Dutta, V. (2012). Land Use Dynamics and Peri-urban Growth Characteristics: Reflections on Master Plan and Urban Suitability from a Sprawling North Indian City. Journal of Environment and Urbanization ASIA, 3(2), 277–301.
Emankhu, S. E., & Ubangari, A. Y. (2015). The Nature Of Peri-Urban Development In Lafia, Nasarawa State. International Journal of Geography and Regional Planning Research, 1(3), 1-8.
Firman, T. (2004). New town development in Jakarta Metropolitan Region: a perspective of spatial segregation. Habitat International, 28(3), 349-368.
Gough, K. V., & Yankson, P. W. (2000). Land Markets in African Cities: The Case of Peri-urban Accra, Ghana. Urban studies, 37(13), 2485-2500.
Keyes, P. (2010). Seminar: Housing Typology. Oregon: Department of Architecture University of Oregon.
Lawanson, T., Yadua, O., & Salako, I. (2012). An investigation of rural-urban linkages of the Lagos megacity, Nigeria. Journal of Construction Project Management and Innovation., 2(2), 464-581.
National Population Commission, Nigeria (2006). Nigerian population census - State population Retrieved from article&id=89 .
Nwokoro, I. I., & Dekolo, S. O. (2012). Land use change and environmental sustainability: the caseof Lagos Metropolis. In The Sustainable City VII: Urban Regeneration and Sustainability (pp. 157-167). RSA: WIT Press.
Olotuah, A. O. (2006). Housing Quality In Suburban Areas (An Empirical Study of Oba–Ile, Nigeria). Dimensi Teknik Arsitektur, 34(2), 133 - 137.
Pradoto, W. (2012). Development patterns and socioeconomic transformation in peri-urban area. Berlin: Univerlagtuberlin.
Puttal, V., & Ravadi, N. (2014). Role of Urban Planning as Tool to Mitigate the Environmental Repercussions Due To Peri-urbanisation. Journal of Civil Engineering and Environmental Technology, 1(3), 96-102.
Ravetz, J., Fertner, C., & Nielsen, T. S. (2013). The Dynamics of Peri-Urbanization. In K. Nilsson, e. al, & K. P. Nilsson (Ed.), Peri-urban futures: Scenarios and modals for land use change in Europe (pp. 13-44). Netherland: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Salem, M. (2015). Peri-urban dynamics and land-use planning for the Greater Cairo Region in Egypt. Sustainable Development, 1, 109-119.
Shen, J., & Wu, F. (2013). Moving to the suburbs: demand-side driving forces of suburban growth in China. Environment and Planning, 45(8), 1823 – 1844.
Simon, D. (2008). Urban Environments: Issues on the Peri-Urban Fringe. Annual Review of Environmental Resources, 33, 167-185.
Tan, M., & Li, X. (2013). The changing settlements The changing settlements in rural areas under urban pressure in China: Patterns, driving forces and policy implications. Landscape and Urban Planning, 120, 170-177.
Tavares, A., Pato, R., & Magalhães, M. (2012). Spatial and temporal land use change and occupation over the last half century in a peri-urban area. Applied Geography, 34, 432–444.
Wu, F., Zhang, F., & Webster, C. (2013). Informality and the Development and Demolition of Urban Villages in the Chinese Peri-urban Area. Urban studies, 50(10), 1919–1934.