This paper identifies principles that will provide important insights and lessons for those who are involved in the development of future sustainable built environments. Two case studies chosen with particular geographical and cultural contexts, one located in the northeastern mountain valleys of Afghanistan and the other located in the central-arid region of Iran, have been used. This paper will demonstrate principles of vernacular architecture as characterized by sustainable affinity between nature and human settlement that are prevalent in these regions. The value of compact townscape, self-help and participatory building approaches, conservation, the use of natural energy systems, and other strategies that will help preserve the ecological integrity of place and at the same time enrich its cultural heritage will be presented.
community/participation, conservation, cultural heritage, density, regional quality, sustainability/ affordability
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