A New Dhaka is Possible (3)

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Offline Rashed_019

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A New Dhaka is Possible (3)
« on: July 17, 2010, 05:56:36 PM »
Dhaka was a deltaic city; water in the form of rivers, canals, waterways, ponds and flood plains formed the matrix of Dhaka. It is not just an image of a picturesque landscape, it implies communication, drainage, economic life, festivity, and a certain way of being. That's what made the city unique, which required a different strategy for urban development and planning. But since the 1950s all that has been destroyed, either systematically or as the fall-out of one misplaced decision after another.

Embracing water and wetness is a natural consequence of this landscape. Planning around land and water (and not land versus water) could give Dhaka a very unique feature distinguishing it from the other cities of the world. As co-writer and architect Saif Ul Haque notes: "Water could provide inexpensive transport solution for the city, it could serve as reservoirs for containing monsoon rains, it could provide for valuable protein for the city dwellers by fish farming, and it could help in keeping the underground water table stable by way of percolation and other induced methods."

The most crucial point of start is to realise where Dhaka is. Too few planners, far less city fathers, and even the people of the city recognise that Dhaka is a tender land-mass -- virtually an island -- framed by three rivers and a fluid landscape. Dhaka cannot forget its genealogy, for that forgetfulness will be reciprocated by calamities and various dreadful environmental effects. A ten-minute ride outside Dhaka shows the aquatic reality of the land-flood plains, wetlands, agricultural fields and canals completely girdle the city. The whole of the Bengal delta, in fact, is an amazing chemistry of land and water, where mighty rivers churn through a landscape characterised by rainfalls, cyclones, floods, and silting of monumental proportions. Dhaka experiences nearly eighty inches of rainfall per year; sometimes over five inches of rain will fall in a single day, turning the city into an unscheduled Venice.

In such a fluctuating landscape where the edge between land and water, between settlement and landscape is often blurred: What should be the perimeter of the city? What will happen at that edge? How will the two sides of this fluid edge be planned? Dhaka cannot grow infinitely in every other direction, swallowing up wetlands and agricultural land with mind-numbing speed and greed, and throwing off balance a precious ecological and hydrological system. If not, then, how will be the population growth and the appetite for urban land solved? That is the challenge.

The brilliance for urban designers and planners will be to show growth can be addressed by sustaining and enhancing Dhaka's crucial geographic system. The norm of thinking about Dhaka has been to think from the core -- the built city -- but that has to be reversed.

An audacious vision for Dhaka has to begin from the edge of the precious landscape of wetlands and agricultural terrain, ushering a conception of a city that integrates urbanism, agriculture, and flood. The big point is: You can try to take the city out of the delta, but you cannot take the delta out of the city.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                     To be continued
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Offline kafi

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Re: A New Dhaka is Possible (3)
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 12:38:12 PM »
very good topics go ahead

Offline Rashed_019

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Re: A New Dhaka is Possible (3)
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 01:18:17 PM »
Thank You sir. Thank You Very much for your inspiration .