The changing nature of urban public places in Dhaka City

Mashrur Rahman Mishu, Uttama Barua, Irina-Alexandra Stoican

Rezumat/Abstract. Throughout the history, public places have been asserted as one of the key components of urban life for their physical, social, political, symbolic and environmental roles. However, the nature and quality of public places in recent years have raised the question how far these places remain ‘public’ in true sense. The study systematically explores how the public places of Dhaka have transformed throughout the history in different time periods. It attempts to assess the ‘publicness’ of the existing public places focusing on the changing nature of these places and the tensions arise from different perspectives. The research is descriptive and employs a case study approach. Osmany Uddan, a park situated in the prime location in the city center and the Hatirjheel, a recently developed lakeside area, have been considered as two cases. The findings from the case studies reveal that although these places are public considering the ownership, their quality and characteristics as public place are diminishing day by day. Limited physical and social accessibility have narrowed the group of users who can use the public place for a variety of purposes. Another major phenomenon which can be attributed to the changing nature of public place is the growing private interest. In this backdrop, it needs planning and design considerations to make public place more inclusive to diverse groups of people as such these places can perform multiple functions in balance.

Cuvinte cheie/Key words: publicness, access, actor, interest

Text integral/Full text