|Name:||Shamim Islam, Zeekra Baset, Mehedi Hasan, Sazzad Shohag|
|Studio Master:||Arefeen Ibrahim, Saimum Kabir, Fauzia Rahman|
|University:||American International University-Bangladesh|
Once a scenic and peaceful residential neighborhood, Banani Residential Area is transforming today due to excessive commercialization. Private universities, colleges, schools, IT training centers, clinics, coaching centers, medical labs, hospitals, shopping centers, commercial banks and other government and semi government institutions have reduced one of the planned green residential areas in Dhaka to shambles. From child friendly perspective, Banani neighborhood significantly lacks the quality of community spaces and amenities. The existing few open spaces are mostly inaccessible, don’t work properly and the ambience doesn’t give any pleasure / comforting view for children. Apart from the open spaces for children, access to the amenities is so limited and access roads are frequently interrupted by busy vehicular crossing and therefore don’t work for the children at all. One can barely see children walking in the street or playing in the field inside the neighborhood.
The following studio project aims to develop an urban vision to re-qualify Banani residential area as Child friendly neighborhood while ensuring children’s Safe Mobility, Safe and Convenient Access to Schools and Amenities and Access to Nature.
After examining the existing mobility system and key issues related to traffic situation we start up with redesigning the streets and roads especially for safe, uninterrupted and comfortable pedestrian connectivity. The Kemal Ataturk Avenue is upgraded to pedestrian plaza while proposing an underpass for the bypassing vehicular traffic. The plaza is meant to create a public space connecting the proposed MRT terminal with existing commercial band. This vehicular free pedestrian plaza can be improvised as a community gathering space and holiday market place. Selected residential streets (streets with dead ends or low traffic) are transformed into a shared space incorporating setback greens and lawn areas of the adjacent plots. Thus these shared spaces, act as an extension of private lawn, can be used as an active place for children to play while remaining within the visual surveillance of the parents.
Access to Schools and Amenities
Pathways towards schools are restructured. Provision of dedicated pedestrian and street can enhance the walkability toward the schools. Public plaza on Kemal Ataturk Avenue is the main central plaza for the area while a secondary plaza on Road 11 is also envisioned as a shopping street. Lake sides are re-utilized by adding more soakable green space, amphitheater, bicycle lane and ecological park. All amenities are connected with the shared and green streets and easy to walk by. Shared and dedicated pedestrian and streets are also easy to use for bicycle rides. A continuous bicycle track are designed along the lake side connecting Banani R/A with the Korail and Mohakhali area.
Access to Nature
Increasing the percentage of greenery in area is one of the primary concerns. After designing the shared streets, green streets, soakable green spaces & park, it is possible to achieve at least 20% of green which is now only 4%. More over existing piped drainage system are proposed to replace with a softer and ecologically sensitive system of rain garden for filtration of storm water which is at present disposing directly to the lake. Introduction of rain garden system along the street will definitely improve the overall street environment.
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