Investigating the Level of Attention to Water Sensitive Urban Design Approach in Academic Education of Landscape Architecture and Urban Design

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assist. Prof., School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 Former Graduate Student in Environmental Design, Dept. of Environmental Design, School of Environment, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

3 Undergraduate Student of Architecture, School of Architecture, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


This paper examines the level of attention to water sensitive urban design approach in Iran, leading to two questions: a) What are the objectives of WSUD? b) To what extent is attention paid to the objectives of WSUD in teaching landscape architecture and urban design fields? The research methodology of this research is combined (qualitative-quantitative). In the first step of the research, the qualitative strategy and content analysis method were used to extract the main and secondary objectives of WSUD from resources. Then, the extracted objectives were examined as measured components, based on the opinions of the panel of experts. In the second step, in order to evaluate the level of attention to the objectives of WSUD in the academic education in landscape architecture and urban design fields, the opinions of academicians in landscape architecture and urban design were collected. In the third step of the research, Shannon quantitative entropy strategy was used to analyze the answers to the questionnaires. Shannon entropy is one of the quantitative methods based on multi-criteria decision making and has an important role in information theory for data processing in content analysis. The analysis of the answers to the questionnaires using Entropy Method shows that among the five main components of WSUD, in urban design and landscape architecture education, the performance component is much more important than other components and the two components of water amenity and water supply are in second rank, water quality is in third place and water quantity is in the fourth position. Among the 20 sub-components, the weight of 14 components (equivalent to 70% of the components) is the same and insignificant, which shows that little attention is paid to them in the process of landscape architecture and urban design education in Iran. The results indicate that the components with quantitative nature have a low position in landscape architecture and urban design education, while many of the qualitative components had attained higher weight than the quantitative components. This shows that the education of landscape architecture and urban design in Iran, especially in water field, is mainly based on theoretical concepts and qualitative issues, and is not successful in preparing graduates of these fields to face the challenges in real projects. To close this gap, it is recommended to review the course descriptions of these two fields and determine how to enhance the knowledge of the teachers about the importance of water for further studies.


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