عنوان مقاله [English]
Historically, maps were used as an imperialistic instrument against various human societies. The mapping (cartography) was the “science of monarchs” used by governments and elites to seize and rule the lands and valuable resources. This is a science, the most common victims of which were the grassroots. Therefore, mapping was developed under the title of “Critical Cartography”, specifically in the capital cities in the late 80s and early 90s. It was in contradiction with the dominant tradition of mapping and was considered as an impartial and enlightened reflection of the environment. By investigating the maps of various communities, advocates of critical cartography tried to reveal the hidden plans behind the maps which were used as a spatial power tool. They believed that mapping by communities had a powerful impact on the entire society, especially on the deprived classes. That’s because they do have the opportunity for spatial thinking about their environment and, indeed, their community on the map. For the spatial-behavioral geographers, one type of the community-based mapping has been the mental mapping. This has been a graphic method of expressing the mental reality of space in individuals, i.e. the method by which one perceives a part of space. Therefore, this method represents the information individuals had about their living space, and this is a spatial or cognitive representation of space. Today, mental maps are used as an approach for the analysis of the urban space, thus, accelerating these studies around the world. The new methodologies and research methods in the science of cartography have directed the approach of mental mapping studies towards the environmental and spatial analysis. Today, urban mental mapping by the communities with a spatial science approach can be effective for urban planners. They can be used to investigate the spatial patterns of various urban groups such as children, the disabled, the elderly, and etc. to enhance the quality of urban life. Comparative study about the mental maps of social classes of the formal inhabitants of District 1 and informal inhabitants of District 4 in the city of Rasht, attempts to obtain the perceptual analysis results of the first-material physical space of these two communities to achieve the spatial justice. These two urban social classes in the city of Rasht had different spatial, historical, and social approaches toward the context of the city. This study tries to investigate this discourse with respect to the physical space of the city.
The qualitative approach of this research attempts to address mental mapping of the city by the inhabitants. The sample size taken from the statistical population included the formal inhabitants of District 1 and informal inhabitants of District 4 in the Rasht City. Given the qualitative nature of the research and the literature background, the sample size was 60 individuals of the formal inhabitants of District 1 and 60 informal inhabitants of District 4. Sampling was performed in this study based on theoretical sampling. Semi-structured interviews and observation were used for data collection. We have used GIS capabilities to analyze the interviews, discussions, notes, and photos. Coding was performed by ATLAS.ti software. After coding and inputting the data, the geo-visualization of 3D Density Surfaces was used to analyze the data.
Results and discussion
According to the study about elements of the first-material urban space of Rasht, the results showed that the differences between the physical elements of the city in the mental map of the formal and informal inhabitants were corresponding to the consumption culture of these communities. The elements in the mental maps of the informal settlements are very primitive and are mainly the characteristics of their area of life and their daily needs. In this part of the city, the landscapes include industrial factories, workshops, small stores, tea houses, butchers, etc. These elements represent the daily lives of these inhabitants with respect to their occupation. This indicates how the lives of these inhabitants are interconnected with these physical sites. These inhabitants are employed in the factories, workshops and manufacturing industries and have a strong relationship with their local living space to spend their non-free time.
In contrast, the urban elements such as malls, recreation centers, healthcare centers etc. have been built in the District 1 with new architecture through the private sector investors. This is in accordance with the consumption culture of the community in the district. Descriptions of stores, malls, airports, highways etc. in the mental maps of the formal inhabitants are signs of a modern, fast-paced society. These localized placelessness do not acknowledge the real cultures of the city, and many places can be found in the mental maps of this urban class, which are compatible with placeless theories.
In the analysis of the first urban space in the mental map of the residents in the Rasht, it can be argued that a kind of space is being formed through an innovative embodiment of the capitalism in the built environment. Today, the urban spaces of Rasht can show the financial consumption pattern, i.e. they involve the inhabitants in monetary issues and direct them to move from the human relations to rational ones. The first spaces have become rational and material, and they do not develop art and emotions. Gradually, residential, healthcare, recreational, and other complexes can form the meaning of the different sites of the city. The commercial areas have become an important place in mental maps and they replace the actual city. Maybe the presence of physical and commercial spaces seem to be natural in the city in the first place, but looking at the current state of the mental maps of informal residents, it is obvious that the current physical space can make it impossible for many people to enter certain areas of the city due to their being increasingly commercialized. Commercialization of the general physical environment leads to the disappearance of the space in which various social groups can meet their daily work regardless of age, income, religion and racial background.
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