Urban sustainability and market typologies: lessons from Tabriz Bazaar

  • YEAR
    Shouri, Amir
    Datta, Sambit
    2009 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


The market is an essential component of urban form. Contemporary shopping malls can benefit from the inherent efficiencies of traditional markets. This paper addresses the development of sustainable models of market typologies based on a specific case study, the Bazaar of Tabriz in Iran.

As one of the biggest historical covered markets in the world (Moradi and Nassabi 2007), it remains an effective trading centre in the city. What are the lessons that make Tabriz a sustainable urban typology and what lessons can we draw from its spatial and operational structure?

To address this question, the paper presents two analytical studies of the urban and building morphology of Tabriz. First, the paper presents an analysis of the urban and social structure of the market based on Lynchian analysis. Second, it provides an analysis of the thermal, ventilation and lighting principles used in the buildings of the market and how they respond to the extreme climatic conditions of north-west Iran.

Rainfall and snow in one side and hot summers in the other, give the buildings in the city really critical performance in terms of life span during the years of operation.

The main target in this case study, is to illuminate the urban typological clarifications in the Bazaar of Tabriz, which will elucidate how parallel links between urban morphology (land cover) and urban typology (land use) in defined urban planning can form a sustainable urban space, and moreover, how the case of this study can be an energy efficient complex with its own urban morphology.

The lessons of Tabriz for the development of contemporary markets are summarised in the paper and need to be addressed at two scales, namely the urban scale and the scale of the building.


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