عنوان مقاله [English]
Urban planners, in recent years, have been dealing with urban issues by regarding it merely economically and physically and, consequently, ignoring social-cultural aspects. The major aim of current research is to attract plannersâ attention to non-quantitative aspects and social concepts of urban planning. In this regard, initially the concept of âsocial capitalâ is introduced to express an individualâs social ties in a society a concept which seems should be considered more effectively in urban design and planning. We here theoretically discuss the relationship between social capital and physical quality in urban districts, as a remarkable response to the lack of similar researches discussing both points of view simultaneously. This research primarily hypothesizes that in a district, there is a positive and meaningful relationship between residentsâ social capital and the physical quality of that district. As a case study, Aliqoli-Aqa district in Isfahan city has been selected to be the statistical population. The methods applied in this research are library materials and documentary studies as well as field studies and direct observation. Moreover, to measure the main concepts, required data was gathered through questionnaire and was then analyzed by SPSS software and Factors Analysis Model. Afterwards, correlation coefficient and regression analysis has been applied to assess the relationship between variables.
2. Theoretical bases
This section deals with the concept of social capital regarding its definitions, dimensions, formation factors and existing related viewpoints. It gives the level of analysis for this concept and presents a model for its measurement in a district. Then the concept of environmental quality is discussed as a further major concept of this research and criteria for its measurements are given.
In this section, the research approach for the variables of environmental quality and social capital are specified and some indicators are presented for their measurement in district level. Then the questionnaire is designed based on theoretical and field studies and distributed in Aliqoli-Aqa district. By the information derived from the questionnaire, each indicator of social capital is measured separately and then the social capital variable is measured as a whole. Through Factor Analysis, the nineteen variables of environment quality are divided into several general factors. Afterwards, each factor as well as environment quality as a whole are measured using the questionnaire information. The research hypotheses were investigated by means of SPSS and Pearson correlation coefficient and it was proved that there is a meaningful relationship between social capital and environment quality of which both are the main concepts of this research. The environmental quality has also a meaningful relationship with retention tendency and cooperation in district improvement. As a result, the quantity of this relationship is then measured through regression analysis and finally a model is presented to explain the relationship among the main concepts of this research.
The findings prove the meaningful and positive relationship between two out of four variables of social capital (civic cooperation and trust) and the variable of physical environment quality which, as a result, prove the primary hypotheses of current research. Therefore, it can be stated that a better environment quality can be provided for residents in a district via the upgrade programming of social capital. In addition, there is also a meaningful and positive relationship between physical environmental quality and the tendency of residents to keep living in a district. In conclusion, although the findings of this case study cannot be generalized, it is expected to be repeated similarly in other places and this reveals the necessity of paying attention to the concept of social capital.
5. SuggestionsAccording to results, any effort for the enhancement of social capital leads to the improvement of physical environment quality. So, it is suggested to pay more attention to social issues in urban programming especially upgrading social ties and connection. It can be achieved through various types of social networks and groups, for instance regional NGOs or by development of public spaces such as parks, play grounds, and recreational centers in districts.