|Studio:||Final project, Master of Science (Sustainable Urban Design)|
|Studio Master:||Dr. Nurul Azreen Azlan, Dr. Wan Nurul Mardiah Wan Mohd Rani|
|University:||University of Technology Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur)|
A network of successful public spaces can potentially create a strong perceptual structure for the city that inevitably increase the imageability of that city. Taking Kawran Bazaar as a case-study, this graduate project explores the notion of high-quality public spaces in regenerating the imageability of Dhaka.
Public spaces are the key to understand the quality of life in a city. The capital Dhaka is a high-density metropolitan city that is facing issues of deteriorating public spaces both in quantities and qualities. Unpleasant public space affects the sensory experience of its users which eventually disrupts the perception of the place. Thus, the poor quality of public spaces can lead to the low imageability of a city. The project aims to improve the imageability of Dhaka by transforming a major urban node, Kawran Bazaar market, into a successful public space. The study scrutinizes two broad objectives: i) to identify the tangible and intangible elements of imageability and successful public spaces; ii) to integrate the attributes of successful public spaces into the existing market area to regenerate the place through design.
A marketplace is a public space that not only provides space for trading but also ascribes socio-cultural character and creates a strong association with the community. Kawran Bazaar is active both day and night but limited to office and wholesale activities at large. There is a lack of optional and social activities because of the poor quality of the physical environment.
The concept is to regenerate Kawran Bazaar as a traditional market district where local food and other products are traded in a long-established traditional manner featuring a market hall, retail market, street market, and street vendors. A place that offers a flexible spatial setting and high-quality public spaces for spontaneous social interaction among the community and creates a strong association with the place.
The design proposal of the market district introduces the following spaces-
-An open market square which provides flexibility for traditional market activities and becomes the focal point of the marketplace. It accommodates major trading activities of small businesses, stalls, and vendors. The surrounding market buildings and shades provide enclosure to the square to facilitate a comfortable setting for users and visitors.
-Parks and plazas to enhance social activities, and interaction among users.
-An axis of market street connecting the spaces. The street facilitates pedestrian-friendly shared space and inspires traditional trading activities on the street.
To showcase the significance of the historic Ambar Shah Jame Masjid, a heritage plaza is proposed, that provides an open plaza with an uninterrupted view of the masjid from surrounding roads and spaces. Adaptive reuse for the old building is proposed as an Islamic library, that offers public access to the structure.
The regeneration of Kawran Bazaar intends to provide a high-quality setting for maintaining economic activities as well as initiating social interaction and communication among users and visitors. By creating a network of public spaces in the city, a strong perceptual structure can be generated which will inspire increased imageability for the city, thus creating a memorable place.