Spatial Impacts of Networks on the Urban Morphologies of Iranian Cities in the Medieval Period

Ali Rad Yousefnia1

1School Of Architecture, University Of Queensland, , Australia

Networks of commerce created and shaped the urban morphologies of Iranian cities in each historical epoch. The examination of these networks reveals relationships of sedentary populations with their surrounding environments. Production, consumption and exchange zones concentrated sedentary populations and created opportunities for agrarian and pastoralist communities to interact via mechanisms of commerce. However, civilisations and regions could be also traced via their geographical, ideological or political boundaries; it was the fluidity of trade and caravans that let their cultures pass through these permeable boundaries and travel beyond. Within this overview of medieval Asian urbanities, this paper offers a comprehensive understanding of how urban commerce and spatial organisations interacted to create complex urban centres in medieval Iran.


Ali Rad Yousefnia finished his Masters of Architecture degree at the Middle East Technical University (METU) Ankara (Turkey) and a Bachelors of Architectural Engineering from the Azad University in Tabriz (Iran). Besides architecture, he is actively engaged in photography since 2008 and has collaborated with teams on several important projects.


The Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA) is the peak body of university experts and educators on Asia in Australia. Established in 1976, we promote and support the study of Asia in Australian universities and knowledge of Asia among the broader community. Our membership is drawn mainly from academics and students, but also includes industry and government Asia experts. We take a strong interest in promoting knowledge about Asia in schools and in contributing to state and Commonwealth government policies related to Asia. We provide informed comment on Asia to a broad public through our bulletin, Asian Currents, and specialist research articles in our journal, Asian Studies Review. Four book series published under our auspices cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, East Asia and Women in Asia.

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