OJG  Vol.6 No.9 , September 2016
Studying the Effect of Urban Furniture on Satisfaction of Domestic Tourists in Isfahan Bus Terminals
ABSTRACT
Terminals and stations as one of the most important parts of transportation systems and also as the arteries of the countrys economy life undertake significant role in adjustment and regulation of the traffic pulse of cities and roads. Urban furniture is one of the components considered in urban designing and as a part of the whole city, it defines the urban identity and structure. In todays world, the importance of designing the urban equipment and furniture is to an extent that even active architects in the field of industrial designing are invited for designing and performing the urban furniture and equipment. Urban designing is a thing beyond making some flower box in squares and determining bus and taxi stations. Evidently, what gives identity to the city or according to the saying of Sansovini, what has tranquility for the citys residents and creates attraction for foreigner tourists, not only include the mass buildings and streets traffic, but also include landscape, parks and furniture of the city. Standard designing of bus terminals like other urban furniture influences on urban face and it can have significant role in satisfaction of domestic tourists and increase and propagation of using of terminals. In this research, it has been attempted that the effect of furniture in the terminals of Isfahan city on domestic tourists should be studied that for this purpose, descriptive-analytic method has been used and data have been collected through field and library studies and secondary sources by using of SWOT model.

1. Introduction

Today’s urban human in order to satisfy social needs and play his social role, needs the spaces with proper limitations, conditions and facilities. In contemporary cities, public spaces of the city as one of the physical components of city have public and social concept and in fact social needs of human have much importance [1] . Since several previous decades till now, another time public places were considered as a space for living and the importance of proper planning and designing of urban elements such as furniture is an affair which has been explored again. The main purposes of urban planning are health, tranquility and beauty; therefore achieving them depends on accuracy, patience and correct planning of urban furniture [2] .

The space quality is one of the most important concerns of urban designing knowledge to an extent that many theorists know the promotion of the quality of environment and urban spaces, and designing and organizing the urban furniture as a part of one of the most important experts, activities in the urban designing domain.

Urban furniture like other constituent elements of a city is accounted as a part of aesthetics values and elements related to its identity. According to the definitions that urban experts present, any equipment that somehow is annexed to the urban bodies and spaces should be accounted as a part of urban furniture. With this definition, a vast range of designing elements existing in a city from drawing lines in the streets to bus stations and rubbish bins are all included in the definition circle of urban furniture.

Urban tourism is a social phenomenon and cultural tourism seeks to experience the contemporary world changes both in a combination of physical forms and in the frame of social-cultural capabilities in comparison with its cultural space [3] .

2. Statement of Problem

Many elements applied in the street have a history as much as human civilization oldness. Different kinds of shelters and chambers can be mentioned as some of these elements. Some other elements specifically are the effect of a historical innovation and invention, for example, the need to the public telephone in public places was formed after advent of telephone and spread of it in Europe and other points. There is very important turning point in studying the procedure of transformation of the city and street and it is industrial revolution and this phenomenon not only influenced on the apparent face of the city but also it penetrated in the existential depth of the most insignificant urban problems, eradicated some dependencies and created some needs, with advent of the 20th century designers from different world corners, this branch of designing trends became both very vast and various; it caused innovation in the articles of production and technology processes and caused more complete and comprehensive designs; the concepts like integration, coordination, identity and durability were placed in agenda of designing work for the components set of urban furniture.

In Iran’s historiography, no compiled and separated history of different kinds of urban furniture and its evolutional procedure is seen and the existing histories have been obtained from among the historical documents of the country dispersedly. Since the oldness of ancient civilizations in Iran is much more than most of the points of the world and especially the European civilizations that nowadays are pioneer in the field of urban elements and furniture, demonstration of primary states of some of the urban elements and furniture like kinds of water-views in Achaemenian era in Iran, tomb- stones, stony images of kings,… which indicate long oldness of urban furniture in Iran can be attributed to this civilization. In the period after Islam also any time that powerful governments has been governing, the manifestation of their power has been demonstrated in the splendor of the cities. For example in Safavieh architecture, Iranian hoses always had the private platform template in alley and street that pedestrians also used of it. The manner of revival of passages was regulated with these platforms. Some of these elements also have had root in the religious beliefs of people- like water-fountains which were seen in all points of the city.

After downfall of Safavieh government, no central powerful government governed on Iran and the country since this tome onwards especially in Qajar era was affected by severe disturbance in different fields and also urban problems and elements in a manner that no opportunity was provided for arrangement of urban elements and furniture.

In addition, exploration and invention of some elements like electricity and telephone outside the country’s borders, economic weakness and domestic conflicts caused that the country despite of having bright and exemplary history in urban designing and planning and its elements due to the mentioned cases to lag from caravan and till today except from dispersed movements in some of the cities in the country, our country follows the advanced countries in the field of urban planning and its equipment such as urban furniture [2] .

2.1. Terminals History

Since about 1815 onwards, with improvement of transportation situation, the cost of going to the vacation was reduced and significant process of spatial and physical development of tourism was started [4] .

The first world underground terminal (Woodlands Regional Bus Interchange) has been located in Singapore. This terminal was used as the first underground bus terminal since 1996.

The largest bus terminal has been located in Tel Aviv that its structure has been constructed with an area of 44,000 m2 in 1993, the total area of terminal is 230,000 m2, in this terminal, intercity and suburban buses stop.

The date of construction of ground roads in Iran is related to Aaechemenian era and before it, but using of roads for car traffic is related to Qajar era [5] . With improvement of the roads situation, the first public vehicles were used for transportation of burdens and passengers in the country’s roads, a person named “Razagh-af” converted a van to a minibus and applied it between Tehran and Shemiran; He also bought two minibuses and one bus wired with his little income during several months and created the first ground transportation company in Iran. In 1318 when the traffic regulation was approved, the statistics of trucks included about 1300 vehicles and the statistics of buses included about 400 vehicles [5] .

Bus is the most common traveling vehicle. One of the main advantages of this vehicle is in this form that isn’t limited to a specified path like sedan; this same feature causes the related organization to be able to present different services among different communities (in comparison with railway or airplane). In tourism industry, sedans are accounted as the main vehicles and can establish relation between airport and train station, hotels and the intended places of passenger and attractive places of the city or destination [6] . The advantages of passenger-buses over the train are less investment and protection cost and they are used more for near distances and also due to be appropriate for the short distance services, they are used in displacement between small villages and cities. Also the changeability of the buses service in different times is for better and more comfortable traveling and if it is necessary, they will be chartered [7] .

2.2. Methodology

Creating the terminals as the main gates of entering to the transportation network and a place for concentration of this kind of services, creating the traffic safety and parallel to it reducing the pollution arising from traffic and reducing the transportation cost are as the most important acts which have been considered in recent years for transferring the passenger and goods [5] .

In this research, it is attempted that with a comparison on Isfahan city terminals by using of SWT technique, the strength and weaknesses points, opportunities and threats existing in this transportation system of Isfahan to be studied and some solutions are presented for improvement and elimination of its difficulties, also with regard to the urban elements and furniture in these 4 terminals, their effects on attracting the domestic tourists are studied.

3. Definitions

Bus terminal is the place for embarking and disembarking the passengers of intercity and suburban buses, terminals are usually created in the busy points and vast space. In terminals instead of parasol and waiting bench, there are waiting halls or rooms. Some of terminals are placed in neighborhood of subway-train stations and airports.

In the space between buildings, complementary elements are needed to organize the urban life. Equipment like the furniture of a house provides the possibility of living in the besieged space between stone, concrete and glass. These components regulate the flow of movement, repose, recreation and anxiety in the city and give soul to it. Furniture, equipment or street furniture or open space, are the common terms of these facilities. These facilities in England are more known as the “street furniture” and in America, they are known as “the public furniture” or “furniture of open space”. “Furnishings word is the plural form of furniture which means life apparatus. Equipment is the plural form of mobilization which means decorating and mobilizing and it more refers to the military tools and equipment. Furniture is the French word which means the set of furnishings and decoration of a place”.

Urban furniture is said to a vast set of equipment, objects, apparatuses, symbols and elements that since have been installed in the city, street and generally open space and have public use, they have become known with this term [8] .

In other words, elements like benches, bus stations, signs, light sources, rubbish bins, flowerpots which have been placed in the urban spaces for more comfort, tranquility, beauty, presentation of information, controlling the movement, creation of safety and welfare of users are named urban furniture [2] .

The issue of urban furniture besides satisfying the material needs of different groups that use of urban spaces should consider its aesthetic dimension and this beauty more than anything is the result of coordination, unity and variety, repetition and flexibility of the elements involved in urban designing. Otherwise, disorders and ramble that today due to the dispersions and self-centered works so-called economic efficiency and lack of proper and standardized template and norms have appeared for these elements, have distorted the face of city and they aren’t helpful.

SWOT Technique

Usually before an organization can start the compilation stage, it should study and seek its external environment to explore the potential opportunities and threats. Also it should search the internal environment to be able to find out its weakness and strength points. Environmental study is the supervision, assessment and publication of the obtained information related to the internal and external environments of organization among the key and effective persons of that organization. Environmental study is also a tool that the organization utilizes of it or prevention from strategic shocks and guarantee of its long-term health [9] .

4. Discussion and Study

Street furnishings and equipment help to give identity to a place effectively by creation or amendment of urban spaces; for example, a focus can be created by using of water- view and the entrance and edges can be specified through correct location of lampposts and trees [10] .

Some of the architectural elements that existence of them is necessary both in internal and external spaces are bench and chair. In its internal kind, because they are placed in the protected environment and remoteness from the effect of atmospheric factors like sun light, snow, rain, … and also limitation of users, various materials like wood, plastic products kinds, glass, plexiglass, kinds of metal or a combination of two or several of them can be used in constructing the bench.

In the elements like telephone booth, mailbox, bus station, water-view which are the components of urban furniture, in addition to the specialized issues of each case which should be considered in designing and constructing them completely, attention to the common cases like being exposed to the vision (with help of using of its color, height, form, …), feasibility of correct use of it for persons in different ages, the performance combination of some of them with each other like telephone booth or mailbox in a general design and other cases are the factors which are considered in designing [11] .

Isfahan city has 4 main transportation terminals (suburban) which are:

Kaveh terminal, Soffeh terminal, Jay terminal, Zayandehrood terminal.

As it is evident in the table, Kaveh terminal is the main terminal of Isfahan and it is also the largest terminal of it and it has the most amount of attracting the tourist (Table 1 & Table 2).

There were some of the elements in all terminals similarly, for example the study station, metallic water-fountain, fire extinction devices, rubbish bins, the place for charging the electronic devices, W.C, terminal maquette, prayer room, notification device with Bluetooth, ATM, warning and bulletin boards, television, stores and CCTV can be mentioned.

There are some elements in the terminals with little changes in each terminal. For example, the color of the waiting chairs, kind and shape of stone-pavements, lamps, curbs, decorative plants outside the terminals and flower pots can be mentioned.

And finally few elements which exist in each terminal specifically can be mentioned that have been brought in Table 1 entitled “special elements of each terminal” (Table 3).

Compilation of Strategies

Competitive/offensive strategies (SO): in these strategies, the concentration is on the internal strengths points and external opportunities which are:

・ Applying proper lighting and creating index for vision and landscape of the building;

・ Using of underpass and overfly bridges in front of the terminals for creating an agreeable environment by using of creation of stores, exhibition, supply of cultural goods and necessary items;

・ Creating vertical and indoor parking for protection of passengers, vehicles and planning for common use of it by citizens;

・ Creating hotels and restaurants with high quality in the terminal which causes to promote and satisfy the passengers and citizens.

Diversity strategies (ST): diversification concentrates on the internal strengths points and external threats and includes the following cases:

・ Using of CCTV for protection;

・ Preventing from creation of cozy and unsafe space by using of physical custody and increasing the lamps in all points;

・ Attention and supervision on the quality of welfare and hygiene services.

Revision strategies (WO): in this strategy in addition to emphasize on the internal weakness points, it has been attempted that the external opportunities to be utilized for eliminating the weakness points of processing the tourist areas and this strategy includes the following cases:

・ Using of urban welfare services near the terminal like hotel, restaurant, parking for welfare of passengers;

・ Updating and providing the possibility to utilize of existing services, like notification devices;

・ Creating more welfare facilities in smaller terminals according to the pattern of Kaveh terminal.

Table 1.Studying the internal factors effective on Isfahan city terminals(IFAS).

Table 2.Studying the external factors effective on Isfahan city terminals(EFE).

Table 3. Common elements of terminals.

Defensive strategies (WT): they have emphasized on eliminating the vulnerability of the studied regions and are:

・ Severe supervision of Police on beggars and prevention from entering them to the terminal;

・ Supporting the vulnerable classes such as women and children;

・ Creating welfare and recreation facilities for citizens and passengers’ use.

5. Conclusions

Designing the street equipment shouldn’t be considered as a separated part of urban spaces designing, rather it should be considered as a factor which shapes the street and urban appearance in vast scale. If the theme of street equipment designing is a part of the general theme of designing the city, it will be the cohesion and transparency to the city and it is more desired. Therefore, the street equipment elements shouldn’t be studied and observed individually and separately, rather they should be seen as a part of a coordinated system of street equipment in which all components are considered coordinately and establish proper relation with their around buildings. In this state, bus station or a telephone booth can be a leaning place for other components like light, signs, benches or telephone [10] .

For any kind of transportation system, the assessment of accesses should be according to the existing main tourism markets and potential markets and the capabilities of attracting the tourists from the main origin. For public transportation, assessment of the quality levels of provided tranquility and services is important and necessary [12] .

Consequently:

1) Urban furniture should cause the visual beauty of the environment;

2) Urban services and their elements should have a layout that in addition to the proper use and service, they also provide the mental tranquility of residents;

3) Urban furniture should be designed in a manner that the possibility of use for all society’s classes such as: old, young, disabled person and stuntman is to be provided;

4) For having good urban furniture and services, the local facilities and native materials can be utilized with correct tact and designing artistically;

5) In urban furniture designing, the artistic delicate points such as the kind of materials, colors and climatic problems should be considered specially and they should be utilized necessarily [13] .

With regard to the research findings, currently Kaveh terminal has the best services and quality among bus terminals of Isfahan city and in addition to more attention on completion and improvement of its services, it should be placed as a pattern for amendment and reconstruction of other terminals by utilizing of the experiences of terminals in other countries and even Tehran city.

Cite this paper
Nadim, Z. and Azani, M. (2016) Studying the Effect of Urban Furniture on Satisfaction of Domestic Tourists in Isfahan Bus Terminals. Open Journal of Geology, 6, 1032-1044. doi: 10.4236/ojg.2016.69077.
References
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[12]   Brojeni, Z. (2010) Tourism Development Planning (An Integrated and Sustainable Approach). Mahkameh.

[13]   Moradi Naraghi, M. (2006) The Role of Urban Furniture in the Urban Identity and Face. The First International Conference “Superior City, Superior Design”, the Municipal Development Organization of Hamedan, 2-3 August.

 
 
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