Evaluation of Urban Nightlife with an Emphasis on Night-Time Economy Case Study: Kamal Ismail St., Isfahan

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Urbanism, Art University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

2 M.A of Urban Design, Yazd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Yazd, Iran



Extended Abstract
Since World War II, great changes have taken place in the structure of daily life, such as lifestyle change and the appearance of new alternatives such as flexible work, organized leisure time, and a return to inner city life. The concept of nightlife and 24 hour cities was introduced as an appropriate response to these changes. Similar to many concepts of urban design, nightlife has many criteria. Night-time Economy is a crucial criterion for revival urban centers at night. Undoubtedly, the lack of strong economic structures in urban centers has significantly reduced the quality of urban spaces, especially at night, and therefore the amount of use them. This paper seeks to address the following questions: How to improve the quality of urban spaces in Kamal Esmael St. at night by using of the Night-time Economy criterion?  And what are the characteristics of Night-time economy criterion to prepare a successful urban nightlife in this street? To answer these questions, the indicators of the urban Night-time economy criterion and their measurement methods have been examined.
The purpose of this study is to improve the quality of citizens’ nightlife by enhancing the criterion of the Night-time Economy. Thus, it is an applied research and focuses more on the results of measures and the practical application of the findings. In the theoretical foundations section, exploratory, descriptive and analytical research methods have been used and library study methods to collect information and analyze their content have been discussed. In the case study section, in order to identify and analyze the desired urban space, a combined-exploratory method has been used, which includes experimental approaches to quantitative indicators as well as phenomenological approach to qualitative index data. In this section, field method (field measurement, observation, interview and rhythm analysis technique) have been utilized to collect information. Finally, the findings of the theoretical foundations section were divided into three sub-criteria of diversity, presence and safety and twelve indicators of diversity of economic activities at different levels, diversity of potential events at night, diversity of nightlife activities, existence of identical places, existence of third place, time range uses, plaque flexibility, positive mental image, active urban wall , permeation into urban spaces, lighting and the level of monitoring space by organs were extracted from them. These indicators have been evaluated by appropriate methods in Kamal Ismail street of Isfahan, and have been homogenized in order to summarize. The reliability by the test and retest method and the validity via formal and opinion polling methods from urban planning and urban design experts were confirmed.
Results and discussion
Researches on the nightlife identify three main goals of this concept: Making urban spaces safer and increasing their attractions by reduction of antisocial behaviors and fear of crime occurrence. Development of night varied economy and improvement the image of the city to attract domestic capital. Therefore, the criterion of Night-time economy can be considered as the backbone of the concept of urban nightlife and connects all the other components. The sub-criteria of Night-time economy are: diversity, presence and safety which can be divided into twelve indicators that due to their diversity in terms of quantity and quality, appropriate methods were designed to measure each index, according to the research conducted or the opinion of experts. Also, all measurements were performed during the nightlife period (4 pm to 6 am). Due to the impossibility of comparing the scores with each other because of the essential differences, the obtained scores were homogenized. Finally, the sub-criteria of diversity, presence and safety were calculated 69.5, 30 and 39.5, respectively, which is not acceptable considering the potentials and background of the study area.
The Night-time economy criterion is one of the most important criteria of a successful urban nightlife that plays a major role in all three of its goals. Therefore, in the process of planning and designing the twenty-four hour cities, this criterion should be given sufficient consideration as the concept of nightlife. In the present study, by using of the findings and theories of various scholars, specifying the role of the urban Night-time economy in the concept of urban nightlife and its goals, a coherent model of relevant sub-criteria and indicators has been presented in an integrated aspect so that the model can be applied in the process of identifying, analyzing and evaluating nightlife. The creation of this structured model that has made it possible to evaluate of urban spaces' success in urban nightlife from the perspective of urban economics, is the most important feature of this study that makes it unique. The effective sub-criteria on the Night-time economy for creating a successful urban nightlife include: diversity, presence and safety. These sub-criteria themselves are separable to twelve indicators: diversity of economic activities at different levels, diversity of potential events at night, diversity of nightlife activities, existence of identical places, existence of third place, time range uses, plaque flexibility in time, positive mental image, active urban wall, permeation into urban spaces, lighting and the level of monitoring space by organs. The results on the case study showed that lack of third places, low time of land uses activity during the Night-time hours, weakness in the plaques flexibility, boring urban wall, low permeation of land use activities in small areas as well as lack of proper lighting have reduced the quality of night economy standards and, consequently, the quality of urban nightlife. This study can play a key role in setting priorities for achieving a dynamic Night-time economy and improving the quality of nightlife citizens.


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