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Type: Conference paper
Title: Water urbanism in case of Dhaka: searching urban water intervention strategies for reclaiming and protecting the water bodies for an eco-city
Author: Ahmed, F.
Citation: Proceedings of the 15th Asian Congress of Architects: A Modern Challenge - Asian Cities and Architecture Heritage in a New Paradigm, held in Bali, Indonesia, 28 October-2 November, 2012, pp.1-15
Publisher: ARCASIA
Publisher Place: Conference journal
Issue Date: 2012
Conference Name: Asian Congress of Architects (15th : 2012 : Bali, Indonesia)
Statement of
Fahmid Ahmed
Abstract: Bhangladesh the largest delta in the world is a land of Hydraulic civilization. The capital city Dhaka was built based on its water culture. Water culture has played powerful role shaping the histories, societies and economics. Water urbanism is one hand is the Science of a city and on the other hand it is the discipline that holds the capacity to steer the transformation of the city and to design rational development. The huge rate of urbanization and the so-called modern city actually shattered water based city and the dialogue between water and city collapsed. Water appears to be one such issue that is (re)conquering the contemporary agenda of urbanism. Water bodies supposed to be the life of the city which should work as the line of communication, natural drainage and ecological space. These water bodies and surrounding area should be the major open spaces and space for recreational facilities of the city. Dhaka had many canals and water bodies integrated to its socio-economic and cultural life. Over the last few decades the cityscape of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has been experiencing a transformation in terms of its water system due to rapid and uncontrolled urbanization. This paper will focus on understanding of water culture of the deltaic city of Dhaka and analysis the metamorphosis of water bodies of Dhaka city. There is a miss-opportunity to reinvent waterscape traditions to integrate present and future requirements of water management, ecology and open space development. How to intervene in the existing complex urbanization pattern of the city is a big concern which is discussed in this paper. Water urban intervention is needed to take in to account for the solution and traditional relationship of people with water will be reclaimed with the water-infrastructure intervention in urban areas. The ecological continuous open space system can change the qualitative aspects of natural life. These open spaces can play a vital role shaping public activity spaces and spaces for stress release. Integration of lakes with public activity spaces is the single strategy to protect water bodies against encoachment which is challenging issue in case of Dhaka city; what other strategies those could be adopted by the city to safeguard them against other threats posed by urban development pressures. The paper discusses the possible urban design solution in terms of water urbanism in the city in both academic research and practical level. The paper will highlight some studio exercise as example which was conducted with the fourth year studio in BUET. How the strategies of research and academic exercise can give a guideline for practical project is important. How to reconcile the need to construct networks of public open spaces along water bodies to serve social and ecological needs within the growing city which will be affordable approaches to engineer and water management systems in case of Dhaka is a major concern. The paper will conclude with possible intervention and search for bridging the gap between vision and reality. The research will give us a guideline for reclaiming and protecting the water bodies as well as possibilities for an integrated water network system. The study will enhance the dialogue between water and city such as replacing the "hard" or engineered solutions by "soft" or more flexible solutions. The design solution can create a continuous ecological space integrating people with the spaces as urban open space which will create new environment for future generations.
Keywords: Water ubanism
public open space
hydraulic civilization
water bodies
urban design intervention
Rights: Copyrights © 2012. ARCASIA. All Rights Reserved.
Appears in Collections:Architecture publications
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