The formation of cultural areas of cemeteries, a sustainable approach in peri-urban rural settlements(Case study: Mashhad metropolitan area in northeastern Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor, Department of Geography, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD student, Department of Geography, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistants Prof Professor, Department of Geography, Payam Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Purpose: Rapid urban development has led to many physical-spatial difficulties and challenges around cities. Physical-spatial analysis of cemeteries adjacent to peri-urban rural settlements provides the capacity for physical development to form cultural areas around the cities. These cultural areas, with high potential for religious and historical tourism development, offer a functional-spatial connection between the city and its surroundings. This research tries to identify the cultural areas around the Mashhad metropolis to develop urban sustainability in this metropolis and its environs.
Methods:  The research method is descriptive analytics with a practical approach. Data were analyzed using ArcGIS software and spatial analysis models such as density patterns, Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW) interpolation, and multi-distance spatial cluster analysis (K Function).
 Results: The research findings indicate that the physical distribution of the mausoleums in the peri-urban areas of Mashhad and the spatial analysis of surrounding rural settlements have provided the possibility of forming cultural sites centered on functional-spatial features of the cemeteries. The physical development of the Mashhad metropolis and the population growth of rural settlements surrounding the cemeteries provide a high potential to develop these cultural-memorial sites. Due to the proximity of these cultural areas to the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza (PBUH), a kind of cultural tourism boom in these leisure spaces. The spatial-spatial analysis results indicate the determination of two cultural areas around the Mashhad metropolis: the cultural clusters of Khaje Rabi, Khaje Murad, Khaje Abasalt, and Behesht Reza can be identified as the first area due to their proximity to the Holy Shrine. The cultural clusters of Yasir and Naser, Behesht Rezvan, and Imamzadegan Panjtan as the second cultural- memorial sites
Conclusion: Functional-structural developments in Mashhad's peri-urban settlements and the physical and spatial proximity of cemeteries in the metropolitan area of Mashhad provide an excellent opportunity to form cultural-memorial areas. Forming the cultural regions of the cemeteries around the metropolitans is considered a sustainable approach to the connection between urban and rural settlements through the development of cultural tourism.