Shahid Abdul Alim Playground project is on an area of 1.33 acres belongs to Dhaka South City Corporation, situated in Lalbagh, old Dhaka, most densely populated cities in the world. Struggle for Trust and Respect: ‘Jol Shobuje Dhaka’ (Dhaka as aquarelle and green) is an initiative by Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) in order to revitalize 31 parks and playgrounds (19 parks and 12 playgrounds to be precise), which have mostly fallen out of the DSCC’s control and become plagued by all sorts of illegal activities and vagrants. ‘Jol Shobuje Dhaka’ is an effort to transform Dhaka from an insufferable city into a humane one. Old Dhaka is mercilessly transforming into mayhem. A lack of vision and physical planning made Dhaka a difficult place to live in. Beginning of the project “jol shobuje dhaka”, there was a research part where the big question posed. “why the public green spaces are not working and how to overcome?” The research finding was interesting when we saw the ‘boundary wall’ around the open space in order to protect the green field or park actually protected antisocial people and activities inside the wall but green. The wall/grill acted as symbol of disrespect and distrust towards the citizen and put community outside the green mostly. So the foremost task was to dismantle all the walls around the field and make it absolutely open for the public. So the green space no more a destination only but a way to the destination also. Historically this project was originally a pond as rain water reservoir up to 1970. Gradually this pond become a dumping ground . Around 1975, it turned into a playground with sand filled, named ‘balur math’/ sand field . Though it created an open space but generated rain water management problem which Dhaka is now facing as a huge problem day by day. in our consideration, both open green and rain water management are important for sustainability. So creating the green for all and collecting the rain water with its reuse was a major challenge that incorporated in the design. rain water collecting trench has been created under the walkway around the football field which can collect five hundred thousand liters of rain water for re use after the filter. Four and half feet width, five feet deep trench is also covered by six feet by one and half feet R.C.C slabs which is removable when cleaning and maintenance required. This project is also conceived as open to air school for the children. so that they can learn about “six season” of Bangladesh from the existing trees or planted new trees ( planted by the children of the community themselves), flowers, fruits, monsoon rain and so on. A small two storied building has been designed at the eastern part of the project accommodating a coffee shop cum library, Gymnasium, bank booth, public toilet, water treatment plant for maintenance and generating finance to become sustainable. so that community themselves can manage the project as owner of the project.
PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION, Season 2019/20, URBAN ENVIRONMENT DESIGN