The role of the spatial configuration of the Jiroft city street network in the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD of Geography & Urban Planning, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor of Geography & amp; Urban Planning, Zanjan University, Zanjan, Iran

3 Assistant Professor of Geography & Urban Planning, Esfahan University, Esfahan, Iran.

4 Professor of Geography & Urban Planning, Tehran University, Tehran, Iran


The urban network paths, as the major part of the urban body, are the main spaces of movement and interaction of people with each other, have increased the risk of exposure to pathogens through close contacts between people and levels in daily life, and highlighted its role in the spread of epidemic diseases. According to the theory of space syntax, the way spaces are linked in the city affects the citizens' movement patterns so that it leads to the production of specific social logic. Then, the theory presented a model that can analyze urban spatial structure by representing, computability, and interpreting space, identifying the pattern of citizens' movement, and determining the crowded parts in the segment scale of streets, and contribute to crisis management to achieve a more precise identification of high-risk parts in the city Using the theory of space syntax, the present study selected the city of Jiroft as a sample to display the application of the theory. The reason to select Jiroft as the sample was that is it monocentric and all human activities and movement and nodes are concentrated in the city center.

The present study was applied research in terms of purpose, and descriptive-analytical in terms of nature and method. A part of theoretical information was collected using documents and reports as well as the bibliographic method. The research area, based on the purpose and subject, was the city of Jiroft. An axial map is used as the unit of analysis of the data table and includes the structure of a set of urban open spaces based on the longest view and access. In the next step, the axial map was entered UCL Depth Map 10 to analyze the space syntax. According to this method, the parameters of macro integration, local integration, and depth should be presented for the analysis of physical factors of the city structure.

Discussion and Results
The present study aimed to discuss the connectivity and permeability of urban tissues and their integration, i.e. the possibility of people's presence in the space, with the COVID-19 epidemic. The results showed a significant relationship between them. To this end, urban streets and spaces were extracted from the 2020 basic map of Jiroft.
The integration map showed that the extension of the axial streets along Pasadarn Boulevard to the streets of Amirkabir, Vahdat, Dr. Shari'ati, and then to the streets of Shahid Shafa, Komiteye Emdad, Beat, Keshavarzi Rejaei, Taleghani, Takhti Jonubi, Janbazan, and Doulat is the most accessible and thus the most interconnected paths in this area, and the people are more likely to use these paths more than other paths due to their specific uses in the area; therefore, it plays the most important role in the spread of this epidemic disease and can be mentioned as a street with the high integration.
The results also showed that the streets of Saadi, Azadi, Takhti Jonubi, and Taleghani have the most connection. These axes are the main configuration of the city and are the most-used parts of the city due to more connections with other parts, indicating high permeability in these axes with consequences such as the higher prevalence of epidemic diseases. Finally, the analysis results of depth showed that isolated spaces and axes from the city have a low integration, due to the isolation from the main axes of the neighborhood and greater depth, resulting in isolated spaces with a lower level of prevalence than other areas. therefore, it plays the most important role in the spread of this epidemic disease and can be mentioned as a street with the high integration.

The model of space syntax theory provides us with a tool to precisely analyze the city spatial structure, crowded areas, and it helps crisis management to achieve a better identification of high-risk parts. It can be said that the old tissue of Jiroft, which is located in the center of the city and the vast majority of doctors have set up their offices on this part, has narrow streets with very high traffic load due to the daily shopping centers, market, business centers, and government offices located on the other side the street. Relying on the principle of the effect of urban spaces on the prevalence of the epidemic, the present study indicated that health strategies can be implemented much intelligently in the city by identifying the crowded areas of the city, and the focus on these areas can weaken the chain of transmission of the epidemic disease among individuals and reduce the incidence of the disease.


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