An Assessment of the Impacts of Private Sector Investments on Kashan’s Historic Districts from Local Communities’ Point of View

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Urban Planning, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran

2 MA Student in Urban Design, University of Tehran


After a period of decline and decay, the historic centre of Kashan has recently experienced new developments. Dilapidated, abandoned old houses have started attracting private investors’ attention, and a wave of their purchase and restoration is started. Most of these restored buildings were transformed into ‘traditional’ hotels (boutique hotels) or other tourism-related facilities. The present research intends to investigate the effects of new investments and adaptive reuse on the historic centre of Kashan from the perspective of local communities. The old Posht-e Emarat neighbourhood was selected as the study case. The required data were collected through interviewing local residents and tradespeople as well as other visiting citizens of Kashan. The findings showed that investors’ actions have had tangible physical-environmental, socio-cultural, functional and economic results, and that local communities generally have a positive view about changes, and are satisfied with them. However, there are concerns about problems such as vehicular traffic and parking, a loss of local services, and the weakening residential aspect of the neighbourhood. Actions need to be taken, therefore, by the authorities and with investors’ and local residents’ participation, to prevent Posht-e Emarat from turning into a merely tourist destination.


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