The Role of Large Parks in Human-Nature Interaction and Socio ...

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In the past, the city was mostly characterised as a place of “non-nature”; however, nowadays, the landscape is acknowledged to be the context from which the city has developed. At present, a large portion of human-nature interaction in an urban context is realised in parks, particularly the metropolitan or large parks of certain cities. This article investigates the relationship between human beings and nature in an urban context through the enhancement and improvement of the existing natural structures of the city, particularly in large parks. In this article, Tehran, the natural structures of its seven river-valleys and the Tehranian residents have been selected as the case study in order to investigate the human-nature relationship in an urban context, particularly in large parks. Large parks play a key role in the physical and mental health of citizens in a global context. In the Iranian-Tehranian context, however, this role becomes complemented by a socio-cultural connectivity with nature. In other words, the parks of Tehran not only provide a context for improving and enhancing physical and mental health; they are also suitable places for Tehranians to engage in a socio-cultural interaction with nature. This results in a move towards cultural and environmental sustainability in the urban context of Tehran. The cultural aspect discussed in this article mainly refers to two features: the quotidian of Tehranian residents; and the rituals, cultural customs, and traditions associated with specific days in the Persian culture and context. It should be noted that the study of the context of Tehran reveals that cultural and social attitudes have significant levels of overlap, and in some cases these two aspects become integrated. Hence, in this article, the cultural aspect and social attitudes are defined as an integrated whole.