Reconstruction of Bazaar District, after the 2003 Bam Earthquake, from the Collective Memory Perspective

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Professor of the Post-Disaster Reconstruction Department, Shahid Beheshti University (SBU), Tehran,

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Civil Engineering, Earthquake Engineering, International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES), Tehran, Iran.


Experiences indicate that after earthquakes a little attention is paid to the role of collective memory (CM) in the reconstruction process. This is due to time constraints, because all organizations try to speed up the physical reconstruction process, after the disasters. Thus, quality is sacrificed for quantity. Herein one of the most challenging issues is the reconstruction of Bazaar neighborhood, because it has unique physical and historical features. People have many memories from this neighborhood. But, unfortunately, it changed during the reconstruction after the 2003 Bam earthquake. This study attempts to use Grounded Theory, a methodology in qualitative research, to review the reconstruction of Bazaar neighborhood in Bam City, from the collective memory (CM) perspective. With this aim, the required data were collected through depth interviews during three travels to Bam City in November 13-14, 2013, March 23-24, 2014 and April 15-18, 2014. The experimental data were achieved through interview with 21 native people and tradesmen from Bazaar neighborhood, each in 20 to 40 minutes. These data were obtained from research environment. To determine the number of interviewees, the concept of “Theoretical Saturation” was used. The interview process ended when the replies of people seemed repetitive. Then, for analyzing data, a regular set of procedures in three stages was applied. These stages are open, axial and selective coding. Also in order to analysis and interpretation of data, 182 concepts, 12 categories, 3 coring categories (in three fields of form, activity and imagination) and a central category was deduced. This research introduces two conceptual models in order to identify the main components of collective memory (CM). “Form”, “activity” and “imagination” are the main factors of collective memory (CM) in the first conceptual model and “time” and “place” are the main components in the second conceptual model. Central category in this research is “collective memory (CM) as a missing link in the process of planning of Bam reconstruction”. The outcome of this study is that current approaches of reconstruction give little importance to the identity and intangible needs of residents. Therefore, it causes the loss of collective memories. Thus, this study emphasizes attention to revival of collective memories in policy and planning of reconstruction process. From the view of this approach, the purpose is not merely physical reconstruction. But the main aim is access to a lively city that people feel they belong to it. The approach of reconstruction from the collective memory (CM) perspective is suggested for future planning of reconstruction in similar places. The purpose of this approach is not to remove past, nor repetition and imitation. This process is a social and participatory plan while appreciating the identity, with interests and changing needs of society is harmonious. It follows permanence and change. For this purpose, identifying all aspects of form, activity and imagination and also tangible and intangible layers of city is necessary. In other words, using self-centered decisions and changes with only economic approach leads to reducing the quality of life and gradual removing of collective memory (CM).


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