Background and Objectives: Due to modernization, traditional bazaars in Iran have undergone many changes following the pace of changes and developments in contemporary economic activities. This issue has led to a change in the spatial organization of bazaars, which in most cases, has been in line with the spatial organization heterogeneity and inconsistency. This research hypothesizes that contemporary economic activities have had a tremendous impact on the spatial organization of Tabriz Grand Bazaar. This research aims to investigate the relationship between contemporary economic activities and the spatial organization of this bazaar.
Methods: This research is based on the bibliographic study of documents and direct observations. It is conducted by the retroductive research strategy and qualitative approaches to discover the impact of contemporary economic activities on the spatial organization in Tabriz Grand Bazaar and to control some of its economic, social, and physical consequences.
Findings: Although Iran has had no inherent economic and social changes since the late Qajar period, the factories and machine products have replaced traditional and local goods and services. The investors owned the majority of possessions and production tools. Expanding the deals in this system has led the small outputs not to be accountable. And as a result, this caused the small craft productions to transform into factory productions. Therefore, this period is the era in which the products are constantly altered. In the following, some of the contemporary economic factors are mentioned. Some examples include the expansion of markets and free contests, increase in the manufacturing and factory productions, enhancement of the social imbalance with high differences, increase in ownership of possessions and manufacturing tools by investors, and incentive for high-interest rates (domination of production in sales), the consumers’ supremacy, the focus of workforce, paying particular attention to creating the value-added, the expansion of transportations and commodity exchanges and also the domination of capitalism. The studies represent that from the late Qajar period, Tabriz bazaar witnessed the entry and presence of mass production and imported goods. Modern urban planning emerged in Tabriz bazaar by the change in the type and method of new economic activities and physical growth due to population growth and migration. Therefore, the spatial organization of the bazaar could not respond to this volume of goods and services. This production and supply volume split the bazaar space and debilitated the trade with the region and city. The old structure of the bazaar also underwent serious changes due to new needs, which led to the abandonment of some spaces and the addition of heterogeneous spaces. In some cases, this issue led to the disappearance of the hierarchy and patterns of activity and physicality in the bazaar and led to the creation of inconsistent spaces. The research reveals that spatial organization characteristics, such as centrality, patterns and index elements, structure, and hierarchy of the grand bazaar have been influenced by contemporary economic activities in different ways. The establishment of new commercial places in the Bazzar neighborhood, especially the commercial complexes and specialized markets built in the post-revolution period, attracted lots of people. As a result, the function of the bazaar as the sales center changed. The hierarchical organization of the bazaar has also changed due to adherence to the new road networks and innovations, yet it maintained its physical entirety.
Conclusion: The results reveal that providing centrality, like economic activities in bazaar neighborhoods, and reawakening the prosperous and currency-flow-boosting jobs with a focus on increasing the output of exportable products such as shoes and carpets, can improve the physical and technical infrastructures. In addition, systematic renovation and restoration, holding production and supply exhibitions to induce social gatherings of different genders and ages nearby the relevant Rasteh (series of shops), would be beneficial for strengthening the place of the bazaar in the city. In terms of patterns and index elements, the specific construction and protective criteria for the bazaar spaces and environment are recommended to prevent physical depreciation and disappearance of existing patterns in the bazaar. Using the aggregation patterns in under-construction units, strengthening the bazaar axes, and highlighting the index elements can be reasonable approaches. In terms of physical structures, paying attention to the activities which prevent the monuments in the bazaar context to demolish, benefiting from their physical and functional values, attracting private investments, and providing enough parking spaces can be reasonable aims to be achieved. Human resources and project management are important in the subject of activity in organizing technology and innovations. Eventually, in the case of hierarchy, considering the structure and hierarchy of the neighborhood and inside flows of the bazaar, taking into account the organization of arrangements and sequences in the placement of spaces, activities, views, and movements would be the appropriate approach in upgrading and maintaining the hierarchy of the bazaar. Therefore, in addition to a comprehensive knowledge of the bazaar and spatial communication with the surrounding environment, technology and innovation management, human resource management, and finally, project management or common urban planning projects such as reviving the historical context can be a good strategy to maintain and improve the spatial organization of bazaar