The role of social participation in increasing resiliency and developing urban life quality with a citizen empowerment approach (Case study: Regenerating worn urban textures of Zeinabieh community of Isfahan)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant professor of Shabestan Architectural and Urbanism Studies Research Center, PhD Student of Urban Planning, University of Isfahan, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Urban Planning, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran



Today, social participation is considered as a crucial element in renewing urban life and enhancing resilience in confronting different crises. Regarding the troubles on the one hand and the limitations of tools and financial capacities of urban management on the other hand, districts with worn textures are taken as one of the main factors in decreasing the quality of life and increasing the vulnerability of cities. so, the most effective approach to choose for facing the shortcomings and imperfections is the participatory approach. This research aims to investigate the empowerment of local communities and the establishment of participatory management with a comprehensive practice along with the participation of citizens for renewing and reviving the worn urban texture of Zeinabieh district of Isfahan. This study was done by survey, documentary and analytical research methods. The results show that the participation of the residents for regeneration and renovation was somehow low in the mentioned district mainly due to their mistrust in the project executors. Having a feeling of satisfaction in the activities of the authorities and confiding in them is an element which paves the way for residents to boost their level of participation in regeneration and refurbishment of old textures. For this reason, the empowerment of residents was proposed as the most appropriate pattern for public involvement in the worn texture of the area under study. The use of such model creates the process of programming as well as the top-down decision makings which put emphasis on community indexes and accelerate citizen participation and confidence. Empowerment model, in practice, in addition to promoting the spatial-physical resilience, enhances the development of cultural and social resiliency through the reinforcement of social relations and the trust among the citizens on the one side and between the citizens and urban management on the other side.