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SPACE, CAPITAL AND LOCAL DISTINCTIONS: A Comparative Study on Six Local Centres of Tehran
With the rise of modernism and consumerist culture in contemporary Iran, the city of Tehran became the setting of social and spatial dichotomies. New spaces were introduced one after another to serve the modern lifestyle, and manifest distinction from the existing situation. Shemiran, a large historical area in north of Tehran, is tied with stereotypes asa socially and spatially heterogeneous hub of prosperous and modern lifestyle. However, considering the local centres within this region, the urban aspects of distinctive lifestyles create diverse patterns. Some local centres seem to be more open to modern consumption spaces, such as shopping centres, while some local centres hold live streets with several small traditional businesses. This diversity does not limit to socio-spatial aspects. Local centres of Shemiran tend to have sharp differences in the urban form too.All these distinctions raise a principal question of the relationship between the diverse urban forms of local centres and their distributionpattern of consumption spaces. Since the consumption spaces serve and promote distinctive lifestyles, the question could be restated as the relationship between urban form and spatial aspects of lifestyles.Eager to find an evidence-based answer, this research resorted to sociological theories as well as spatial. Sociological theories, mainly Bourdieu’s theory of distinction, suggest a relationship between capital combination, taste and lifestyle. On the other side, the spatial theory of Space Syntax, suggests analytical methods and tools for estimating the amount of capital generated and accumulated by the urban form. Thus, the concept of capital was chosen as a link or mediator to explore the assumed relationship between urban form and spatial aspects of lifestyle. The findings suggested the dependency of traditional consumption spaces on local capital and modern consumption spaces on global capitalof urban form.

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