Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Measuring Spatial Justice Indices in the Traditional Islamic Cities by Using GIS, An-Najaf Holy City, Iraq A Case Study


Iraq includes several traditional Islamic cities, and they share many spatial and social characteristics. A question has often been raised about these cities' ability to achieve spatial justice for their current residents. Therefore, the research aims to answer this question by following a specific methodology based on the derivation of factors and indices of spatial justice through previous literature, then measuring the indices derived in the ancient Najaf city as an example of traditional Islamic cities. The research found that there are five main factors for spatial justice, which are: spatial diversity, spatial connectivity, spatial resilience, spatial security, and spatial empowerment, which in turn are divided into ten indices. These indices were measured in Najaf city. It became clear that the mixed land use index, spatial connectivity indices, and spatial security indices were well achieved, while the mixed residential patterns and spatial empowerment indices did not achieve well. As for spatial resilience, changes occurred in the land uses. However, these changes were not the result of social and cultural changes or according to the city residents' needs. Instead, they occurred due to economic changes that primarily serve the visitors and arrivals to the city.


spatial justice, spatial diversity, spatial connectivity, Spatial resilience, spatial security, spatial empowerment



  1. Achmani, Y., Vries, W. T. d., Serrano, J., & Bonnefond, M. (2020). Determining Indicators Related to Land Management Interventions to Measure Spatial Inequalities in an Urban (Re) Development Process. Land, 9(11), 448.
  2. Adli, S. N., Chowdhury, S., & Shiftan, Y. (2019). Justice in public transport systems: A comparative study of Auckland, Brisbane, Perth and Vancouver. Cities, 90, 88-99.
  3. Al-Jaberi, A., Al-Khafaji, A., Ivankina, N., & Al-Sawafi, M. (2019). The idea of pedestrian pockets as a key for successful transit-oriented development for Najaf city-Republic of Iraq. Paper presented at the IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering.
  4. Al-Khafaji, A., S., & Al-Salam, N.,A. (2018). Measurment of Urban Sprawl and Compactness Characteristics, Nasiriyah City- Iraq as Case Study. International Journal of Civil Engineering and Technology, Volume 9, Issue 9, pp. 335–343.
  5. Al-Shouk, N. D., & Al-Khfaji, A. S. (2018). Toward Sustainable Compact City:(Study in Convert Traditional Najaf City to Sustainable Compact City). KnE Engineering, 167–192-167–192.
  6. Alrobaee, T., & Al-Kinani, A. (2019). Place dependence as the physical environment role function in the place attachment. Paper presented at the IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering.
  7. Breheny, M. (1996). Centrists, decentrists and compromisers: views on the future of urban form. The compact city: A sustainable urban form, 13-35.
  8. Burton, E. (2000). The compact city: just or just compact? A preliminary analysis. Urban studies, 37(11), 1969-2006.
  9. Colquhoun, I. (2004). Design out crime: Creating safe and sustainable communities. Crime prevention and community safety, 6(4), 57-70.
  10. Daniels, R., & Mulley, C. (2013). Explaining walking distance to public transport: The dominance of public transport supply. Journal of Transport and Land Use, 6(2), 5-20.
  11. Day, L. L. (2000). Choosing a house: the relationship between dwelling type, perception of privacy and residential satisfaction. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 19, 265-275
  12. Delden, H. v., Hagen, A., Luja, P., Shi, Y.-e., & van VLIET, J. (2008). Assessment and scenarios of land use change in Europe. Research published by RIKS BV, Netherland.
  13. Dewan. (2011). Urban renewal for center of the holy Najaf city. Retrieved from
  14. Fainstein, S. S. (2000). New directions in planning theory. Urban affairs review, 35(4), 451-478.
  15. Fainstein, S. S. (2014). The just city. International journal of urban Sciences, 18(1), 1-18.
  16. Feng, T., & Timmermans, H. J. (2014). Trade-offs between mobility and equity maximization under environmental capacity constraints: A case study of an integrated multi-objective model. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 43, 267-279.
  17. Force, T. U. T. (2003). Towards an urban renaissance: Routledge.
  18. GHaedrahmati, S., Khademalhoosini, A., & Tahmasebi, F. (2018). Spatial analysis of social justice in city of Isfahan, Iran. Annals of GIS, 24(1), 59-69.
  19. Griffin, T. L. (2019). DESIGN FOR A JUST CITY: the Veldacademie, AIR and the Just City Lab, at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD).
  20. Kay, A. (2005). Territorial justice and devolution. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 7(4), 544-560.
  21. Mabin, A. (2013). Spatial justice as viewed from Gauteng, South Africa: professionals, planning, possibilities. Ségrégation et justice spatiale, 335-353.
  22. Mahmoudi, S., Jelokhani-Niaraki, M., & Argany, M. (2019). EVALUATION OF SPATIAL JUSTICE IN ACCESSIBILITY OF URBAN FACILITIES: A CASE STUDY OF ACCESSIBILITY OF PUBLIC PARKS IN DISTRICT# 11 OF TEHRAN, IRAN. International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing & Spatial Information Sciences.
  23. Mecredy, G., Pickett, W., & Janssen, I. (2011). Street connectivity is negatively associated with physical activity in Canadian youth. International journal of environmental research and public health, 8(8), 3333-3350.
  24. Mirgholami, M., Keynejad, M. A., & Alizadeh, B. (2018). The Evaluation of Spatial Justice in Redevelopment of Urban Spaces; Case study: Atigh Local Plan in the City of Tabriz. The Monthly Scientific Journal of Bagh-E Nazar, 15(67), 43-52.
  25. Morrill, R. (2015). Spatial equity.
  26. Mortezavi, M. (2019). Optimization of urban budget allocation based on spatial justice indicators (case: Mashhad Metropolis).
  27. Nubani, L., & Wineman, J. (2005). The role of space syntax in identifying the relationship between space and crime. Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 5th space syntax symposium on space syntax, delft, holland.
  28. Owen, D. (2013). Future Identities: Changing identities in the UK–the next 10 years. Foresight.
  29. Rafieian, M., & Alizadeh, A. (2017). An Integrated Approach of Spatial Justice and Structure to Detect Spatial Conflicts in Yazd City. Iran University of Science & Technology, 27(2), 105-114.
  30. Sreelekha, M., Krishnamurthy, K., & Anjaneyulu, M. (2016). Interaction between road network connectivity and spatial pattern. Procedia technology, 24, 131-139.
  31. Uwayezu, E., & De Vries, W. T. (2018). Indicators for Measuring Spatial Justice and Land Tenure Security for Poor and Low Income Urban Dwellers. Land, 7(3), 84.