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Journal of Engineering Research and Education
Multiplicity in a Metropolis: Creating Urban spaces in Dhaka City
M Tawfique Rahman1 ,
Moukuri Mohim2,
Umme Sayeda Eva2 ,
Mahmudul Hasan2 ,
Anija Kabir2
Corrosponding author -M Tawfique Rahman
1
Lecturer,
2
South East University, Dhaka-1253, Bangladesh
Students Of architecture Southeast University-Bangladesh, Dhaka-1213, Bangladesh
ABSTRACT
The population of Dhaka city, Capital of Bangladesh reached 18 million on 2016(Dhaka
population,2017).Dhaka is among the fastest growing megacity of the third world countries regarding
density which is 45,000 people sq km(cox,2012).the rapid growth of population has increased the land value
so much that the city lacks minimum public open space and recreational urban areas.under the
circumastances,it is time to think differently to layout broad and long term programmatic responses to solve
public spaces demand not onlyto reach environmental reasons but also to ensure better health condition for
the inhabitants. this paper tries to locate some site in the city which are used for a period of time of the day
and left unused for another certain period and than offering proposal to re-use those sitesas public
recreational spaces.we call such proposal as "multilpicity in a metroplitan "as they are used differently
during different time and physical level.in this paper some example are presanted through data collection
and analysis showcasing sustainable development will means of temporary ,flexible and experimental
response to these semi vacant spaces based on time frame .
Keywords : Dhaka city, Urban , Plurality , Recreational spaces, public spaces.
1. INTRODUCTION
The global urban population reached 51% in the year of 2009, at present the ratio is 55% to
45% and by 2050 it is projected to reach 68% where almost 90% growth will take place in Asia
and Africa alone. (UN.org) . The pressure of rapidly growing urban population is extreme on the
south Asian developing countries such as Bangladesh. Bangladesh is one of the most heavily
populated countries in the world. The country is experiencing a rapid urban population growth,
specially the capital Dhaka city. Dhaka having a popultaion of 18 million inhabitants attracts
300000-400000 new migrants every year projecting a population of 20 million by 2020 making
it the world’s third largest city. (Baker) Dhaka is the fastest growing and most denseed megacity
in the world with a density of 45000 person per km. Like any over densed cities Dhaka has
many other problems and mong the many one is the lack of open or public spaces (cox). Public
places are the open spaces those work as inhalation points or opportunities for a city. the
inhabitants of that city use such places to relax or enojoy them in different time and purpose
around the year. These are also spaces wehre the vibrant functions and celebration takes space,
making them some times the hearts of happening activity zones. To have a healthy livelyhood a
city is required to have almost 25% of open spaces including the roads and the pathways
(Farida)where as in Dhaka we have in total only 5-12 % open spaces. Even those areas are often
found to be misused by anti scolial occurances. Keeping all these minds , a group of students
started a research on how to change the perception of space and add some extra spaces to the
open urban utility to be used by the city dwellers. We call it the multiplicity of a space and found
out what new can be proposed to make a better city experience.
[email protected]
2. Objective of the study:
A city becomes safe and healthier place to live if the social ties and controls improve as it
expands and broadens its area. And to have a better relation between communities and people ,
the most important aspect is to have public places. Public open spaces play a vital role in
bringing people in contact hence improving the social ties and interactions for all sorts of age
and sex group. As Dhaka city grows it is important to have more and more urban places those
generates responsive spaces spontaneously. It is important for the inhabitants now living in the
city and for our future generations. The objective of the study was to find out places that we
could use as public space for a period of the day and thus enhancing the living experience of the
city.
3. Scope of the study:
But as much as we want more public open spaces for the inhabitants of the city, the highly dense
Dhaka city is incapable of creating new urban open spaces because of the sky rocketing price of
land and the existing open spaces are also facing trouble to remain so. Therefore, the research
team started to look for spaces that are already there and possible to re-use without intervening
the present function and infrastructure. We tried to look differently into the definition of the
spaces. Space in urbanity as we understand is the place where activity generates and allows
people to perform certain actions. By public open space we understood places those are open to
everyone and not limited to any particular ritual or function. A public space should allow all age
and sex group to come and enjoy the space at any time. But such kind of spaces are a scarcity in
Dhaka city hence we started to look for spaces that can be turned into public spaces for a period
of time of the day. These places/ spaces can exist in physical attribute or as a time bound,
attribute. For an example of physical attribute we can point out large infrastructure such as over
bridges or storage structures , where the use of the space is dedicated to a particular level. For
over bridges the upper level is dedicated for traffic and the underneath of that level is not been
used. For a storage the inner part is used but the roof is left for opportunity. We selected a small
portion of Dhaka city, which is the “Shaat Rasta “ road. The site chosen starts from Mohakhali,
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Journal of Engineering Research and Education
nabisco junction in the north and ends at the “Shaat Rasta” junction in the south. We started to
look for places that will give us the following advantages
A) The spaces , already exist with a function.
B) The spaces will seize to operate for a period of time, every day of the week.
C) The spaces will have its own infrastructure, which can be re used for a proposed
function.
By fulfilling the above conditions these spaces / places can be used for multiple function and
that we called the “Multiplicity of spaces”
4. Multiplicity of spaces:
The Existing places with their existing infrastructure and functions which seizes to function for
period of time and can be used for a different function for that particular period has the
qualities of multiple use. Such attributes of a space is called the multiplicity of that space.
5. Possible outcome from the study:
The study and the possible solutions focuses only on some chosen small scale spaces in an area
of Dhaka city within its limited scope to find out whether multiplicity of spaces works to solve
the issue, that is the current lackings of open urban space in the broad area of the metropolis.
Also as a theory whether multiplicity of spaces is a solution for future develepoment or not. We
planned to have the following outcomes if the strategies are implimented:




To create recreational space for urban people.
To enhance Green space of the Area.
To reduce traffic jam of the area.
To add Multiple function and use in each of the area.
6. Methodology:
We conducted the research based on literature review and on field data collection. Based on the
research some criteria for spaces, which can be used for multiple functions, have been
established. In the critearia chosen process, 5 numbers of such places where marked. Then a
questioner-based research was conducted among the people around the locality to find out the
urban needs and was tried to fulfill those needs in small-scale contributions in the proposed
sites. Case studies done to understand how other places are used as multiple functions holding
spaces during different time of the day and such attributes and observations were later tried to
implement as strategies in the proposed areas.
7. Case Study on Manek Chawk, Ahmedabad:
Manek Chowk is a notable city square in Old Ahmedabad, India. It is surrounded by historical
structures. It is a vegetable market in the morning, a bullion market in the noon and the street
food market at night. It is situated between two nationally protected monuments, the Tombs of
the King and Queen of Ahmedabad. Manek Chowk is a traditional business centre and also one
of the most important public spaces of the Walled City. It comprises of formal and informal
commercial activities, religious and cultural sentiments, and a vibrant public life. The
commercial activityin Manek Chowk is as old as the city of Ahmedabad. Its central location and
easy accessibility are the main reasons for the commercial activity to flourish. Manek Chowk
remains active for 20hrs a day. From cattle grazing activities in the early morning ho urs, heavy
commercial and business activities through the day, to a vibrant street food market that is active
3
late into the night; Unorganized vending activities cause congestion and bottlenecks for
movement; Shop extensions on to footpaths and streets reduce space for pedestrian movement.
Figure 1- Hand drawn section showing multiplicity of Manek- Chawk.
8. Area of study in Dhaka:
As mentioned before we selected a small portion of Dhaka city, which is the “Shaat Rasta “ road.
The site chosen starts from Mohakhali, nabisco junction in the north and ends at the “Shaat
Rasta” junction in the south. Below are the images showing the chosen area to conduct the
study.
Figure 2 Dhaka in Bangladesh map
Figure 3- Area chosen in the Dhaka city
9.
Possible Sites With Potentials:
We found certain sites which have the potentials to be used
for multiple use. Those sites are shown in the image below:
Index:
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Journal of Engineering Research and Education
A- Southern CNG Station
B- Shotota CNG Station
C-Water Tank
D-All in one CNG Station
E-Akij gas Lmt.
Figure 4- Possible sites
10. Spatial Analysis of the Sites
The sites that we marked for multiple uses are mostly the CNG stations. According to the
government rule, all these sites are required to remain close from 5 pm – 9 pm. During this time
period the CNG station , only those who are used to refuel CNG sits idle though the electricity is
been used to light the premises. These 4 hours the chosen areas can be used for some other
functions. Some cases the chosen sites are close to different other fully functional amenities. For
example, there are sites, which are close to garments and one in particular is close to an ice
cream factory. Without intervening the present infrastructure these places were proposed to
turn in to eatery joints or small time clothes market. The sites also allow well spacious area for
car movement and vehicular parking area. According to the policy the sites also have fire hazard
fighting facilities and toilet facilities which we tried to improve for the better use of the public.
We also found a water tank which is used in the upper level for strage and supply of the water
but the ground is open. We also tried to put some functions in those ares.
11. Study findings:
From the research based on local study and questioner we found the following data those
explained us the potentiality of multiplicity in the proposed sites:
5
11.1 Urban fabric:
Figure 5- Urban Fabric of the chosen area .
Figure 6- Nodes and sites for multiple use
in the chosen area.
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Figure 7- Trees and green
Journal of Engineering Research and Education
covered places in the chosen area
11.2 Traffic pattern :
Figure 8- Traffic pattern by hours
Figure 9- Traffic pattern by mode of transport
11.3 SWOT analysis of the area:
Strength :
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
One of the most connected place of Dhaka city
Various transportation systems working thus case of mass access.
Close to landmark &important structures.
A mixture of different kind of civic amenities around the city .
Possibilities to become a thoroughfare.
Weakness
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
Poor traffic management
Road & circulation rapid development of infrastructure which lead to unplanned growth
Unplanned settlement, unfavorable growth
Poor environmental condition .
Lack of Green Space.
Lack of recreational Space
Opportunity
1.
2.
3.
4.
Potential public & civic places can be created
Developed a recreational & breathing spaces
Reduce surrounding traffic congestion
Incorporate the green spaces & create small open spaces.
7
Threat
1. Mix use of government plot & turn into big industrial zone.
2. Accidents may occur.
12. Proposed Strategies For The Site:
We came up with multiple strategies for the sites chosen. In general there were certain reasons
for taking decisions of certain functions. Some of the reasons are as follows :
Strategy 1- Food Court and Restaurant:

Educational institutes : Tejgaon area has many famous universities and schools.
People from all over the Country come to get admitted and study.

Industrial Hub: Tejgaon is the main industrial hub of the country.It has many
industries.
Commercial Hub : Tejgaon is the main commercial hub of the country. Many
major companies have their head offices and brunches in there.

Strategy 2- Library:
This Area has quite a number of educational institutes, some of them are as follows :
1.Tejgoan adarsha School & College.
2.Southeast University
3.Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology
4.Bangladesh University of Textiles.
5.Bangladesh Institute of Glass& Ceramic
But there in no library for students. Hence the study has proposed library on the upper floor of
water tank.
Strategy 3- Non formal education for under privileged Children:
As Tejgaon is an industrial area, there are a few residential areas where also. In this area the
majority of peoples are under privileged and slum dwellers. Therefore one of the study site
area (All in one CNG Station) has proposed a non formal education for those under privileged
children.
Strategy 4- Using the underneath space of the existing flyover.
Strategy 5- Informal clothes market.
There are many garment factory and fashion house in tejgoan area. So this study site (Akij Gas
Lmt) has been proposed to Cloth market on 5pm-9pm, When the cng station is closed which is
called “van plaza”.
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Journal of Engineering Research and Education
13. Hypothetical implementation of the strategies in the sites:
After deciding on the strategies , according to the site proximity we started to hypothetically
implement the strategies to see how it may work. The possible scenarios are given below :
Southern CNG Station:
Proposed ice cream parlour from strategy 1.
Figure 10-Existing View of Souther CNG Station
Figure 12-proposecd 3d View of Souther CNG Station
Figure 11-Existing View of Souther CNG Statio
Shotota CNG Station:
Proposed
Fig 13-Existing View of Shotota CNG Station
9
Fig14 -Existing 3dView of Shotota CNG Station Existing
Fig15- proposed 3d View of Shotota CNG Station
14. Water Tank:
Proposed library with cafes in the site according to the strategy 2
Figure 16-Existing View of Water Tank Figure 16-3dExisting View of Water Tank
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Journal of Engineering Research and Education
Figure 17 proposed view of library at upper floor Figure 18 Proposed cafe with pool view
All in one CNG station
Figure 19-Existing View
Figure 20-Existing 3d view
11
Figure 21-View of Proposed non formal education for under previliged childrens
Figure 22-Preservation of Bot tola
Akij Gas Lmt:
Figur23-Existing View of akij cng station
12
Figure 24-Existing 3d view of akij cng station
Journal of Engineering Research and Education
Figure 25-Proposed sculpture garden at akij cng station
Fly over:
Figure 26-Existing flyover
Figure27- existing 3d view of flyover
Figure 28-Proposed view of Fly over
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Figure 29-Proposed view of Fly over
Figure 30-Proposed view of Fly over
CONCLUSION:
Dhaka , the capital of Bangladesh is thriving under the pressure of population and densely
unorganized city planning. We have limited number of large open spaces which are located in
highly integrated areas where the existing condition is also not very user friendly. We therefore
tried to look forward to some alternative solutions by changing the value and the view point of
how we see a space. Some of these spaces are also well integrated at local level. We tried to look
for spaces those can be used for different fuctions at different period of the day and thus we
called those spaces – spaces that have the potentiality to be multiply used. We called this small
intervention a certain steps towards multiplicity in a metropolis. The use of such spaces can be
introduced to people and by creating efficiency and access to the points it is in some scope
possible to present the inhabitants with a little breathing space in the cityscape itself. There are
many limitations of the study , even then we are much hopeful that such certain steps may bring
change to the living condition that is at present an unhealthy reality.
Bibliography
1. "www.undp.org." 14-16 april 2014. www.undp.org. 19 june 2015 <http://www.undp.org>.
Baker, Judy L. Dhaka: Improving Living Conditions for the. Development Series. dhaka:
Worldbank, 2007.
cox, Wendell. Newgeography. 08 08 2012. 11 10 2018
<http://www.newgeography.com/content/003004-evolving-urban-form-dhaka>.
Farida, Dr Nilufar. Urban life and use of Public Space. research. Dhaka: unpublished, 2000.
Saleh, Asif. thedailystar. 15 10 2017. 15 10 2017
<http://www.thedailystar.net/opinion/affordable-housing-urban-myth-or-reality-1476373>.
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Journal of Engineering Research and Education
UN.org. UN economic and social affirs. 18 05 2018. 11 10 2018
<https://www.un.org/development/desa/en/news/population/2018-revision-of-worldurbanization-prospects.html>.
Figure 1- Hand drawn section showing multiplicity of Manek- Chawk. ........................................................... 4
Figure 2 Dhaka in Bangladesh map.................................................................................................................................. 4
Figure 3- Area chosen in the Dhaka city ........................................................................................................................ 4
Figure 4- Urban Fabric of the chosen area . .................................................................................................................. 6
Figure 5- Nodes and sites for multiple use in the chosen area. ............................................................................ 6
Figure 6- Trees and green covered places in the chosen area .............................................................................. 6
Figure 7 Traffic pattern by hours...................................................................................................................................... 7
Figure 8- Traffic pattern by mode of transport........................................................................................................... 7
Figure 9 Proposed View of Water Tank ............................................ Ошибка! Закладка не определена.
Figure 10-Existing View of Water Tank ....................................................................................................................... 10
Figure 11 proposed view of library at upper floor .................................................................................................. 11
Figure 12 Proposed cafe with pool view...................................................................................................................... 11
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