Indexed on: 03 Jun '18Published on: 30 May '18Published in: Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development
Journal of Cultural Heritage Management and Sustainable Development, Ahead of Print. Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the underground levels of a city to explore how vernacular and historic underground urban facilities help traditional cities to be sustainable. Therefore, the authors look at how culture, climate and economy affect those facilities. Design/methodology/approach The paper focuses on vernacular and local underground urban facilities in historic cities to find more sustainable processes of urban development that integrate cultural, climatic and economical concerns into design planning. The paper is based on a case study of the underground infrastructure of Dezful, Iran. Findings There are several vernacular building styles around the world, especially in Iran, with different shapes, materials, arrangements and concepts. Building construction has significant impacts on the environment and natural resources. Dezful is a city in Iran with a lot of potential in terms of its architecture. Vernacular cities possess infrastructure that helped them thrive in harsh climates. For instance, Dezful takes advantage of a systematic infrastructure termed the “Underground City.” Originality/value The traditional architecture of Dezful plays an important role in creating underground spaces, especially urban and architectural elements with thermal isolation properties that can be used as housing and as food storage. In this century, building construction could adopt these environmental properties, which could lead to low energy consumption in urban environments. Considering traditional and contextual elements in urban planning and design could revive sustainable community practices in urban environments.