|Name:||Md. Tanvirul Hakim (Group leader), Md. Junaied Saif Rumman, Payel Sen Gupta, Md. Shohanur Islam Shojib, Jorzina Farah Srity, Punam Das|
|Studio:||VII (Urban Studio)|
|Studio Master:||Ar. Kuheli Chowdhury|
This project from Premier University claimed the 1st prize from Urban Design category in the global student contest – INSPIRELI AWARDS, where around 150 countries had participated with 1400 entries fighting for the title. The project proposed restoring urban water spines to solve water-logging and was praised by jurors from worldwide, notably – Santiago Calatrava and Mario Botta.
Chittagong is the beautiful port city of Bangladesh. However, impact of global warming and lack of effective planning strategies has facilitated a lot of urban crises. Water logging in the city is one of such alarming problems. The rising sea level along with improper management brings about this crisis. Realizing the extent of negative impact this issue has on the living quality of inhabitants, a team of students (Brittanto) took it as an academic project to find a solution to remove the threat of water-logging from the city. The main idea of the project is returning the city’s water spine back into life in terms of protecting the quality of urban life.
Chaktai canal is one of those prominent water spines, starting from Bohaddar hat and converging into the river Karnaphuli. That canal had once been a major transportation route, allowing people and supply of goods to reach the haat on boat. With time, the tradition was lost due to lack of reservation, maintenance and awareness. Growing embankments has destroyed the usability of the canal. During high tide, the canal becomes a curse, flooding the surrounding low altitude land. Field survey of that area had been done to sort out the strength, weakness, opportunity and threat.
A study of the Chittagong Metropolitan master plan 1995 helped develop design decisions and policies and form zoning.
The proposed Master Plan focuses on separating the drainage system from the canal. The proposed drainage and stormwater lines would then be collected by water treatment plants at the end of the canal. From the topographical study, Chaktai and Bakalia, have been identified as suitable to locate the water treatment plants. A tropical, hilly region like Chittagong also manifests a large amount of rainwater. So, a large water reservoir is proposed in the middle of the two plants to store the treated water and rainwater that can provide supply for approximately 15 days to the city dwellers. It is required when there is freshwater scarcity in the hot season.
Re-introducing the tradition of water transport in the Chaktai canal has been emphasized to reduce the traffic pressure from the road. Some important points are identified for boat stations and canal port. These are designed with respect to the tide system. The canal ports facilitate loading-unloading of local business and thus enliven the riverside area as a business hub.
The canal is treated as the front of the adjacent buildings by proposing a 20ft wide setback space. This is designed considering a walkway, sitting facilities and a bicycle road. The wide road can also be used in need of fire defense and the dredging team. Pedestrian bridges are designed to connect both sides of the canal.
Overall master plan also includes recreational spaces for the citizens. A Mariner’s Park is designed to revive the net making culture of the fisherman community and to enjoy the view of the Karnaphuli River. The park also has amphitheater, water museum, kite zone etc. Another facility is a civic center for children and general people proposed in Bakalia area to serve as a recreational and educative space for the common people. Social bonding and cultural reflection in this particular area can bring back the heart-throbbing city atmosphere.
CONTEXT contributing editor: Louise Bani Sarcar, B.Arch ( BUET)