Unplanned Housing in Dhaka City: Finding Solutions

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1. Introduction

Figure 1: Slums just beneath of palaces
Human beings are by nature “House Dwellers”. Prehistoric people, leaving cave, started living in houses. From huts to modern skyscrapers, people build houses for safety, shelter and comfort. But, human cannot build nestle in trees like birds, they need lands. So, with the increase of population, land scarcity increases, problem arises. Sometimes people use lands to make habitable without any pre-plan. This type of unplanned housing leads to misuse of total habitable land and also unnecessarily decreases cultivable lands. In a country like Bangladesh, population is increasing at such an alarming rate that, in near future, living in sea can also become necessary. Especially in Dhaka, the situation is more complicated. As, Bangladesh couldn’t decentralize her capital, people from all over the country rush to Dhaka in search of better opportunity. As a result, almost one fifteenth of the population lives in one certain city. Dhaka is ranked 19th among the megacities by population and this population will reach to 26 million within 2025 if it remains uncontrolled. To accommodate this huge stream of people, unplanned residential areas came into being. Aristocratic people possessed more than sufficient land for their palaces whereas, poor people could only manage small slums to accommodate huge. Moreover, commercial areas overlapped in residential areas and total environment has become hazardous. Now the scenario is, one part of Dhaka shows the glamour of modern life with modern housing facilities, where, below the light, darkness resides in the highly increasing number of unplanned slums. So, Dhaka is now a city of people and people everywhere with no place to feel safe to reside. So, it has become a must to re-plan Dhaka again for Healthy living.

2. Planned Housing and Dhaka city
2.1 Planned Housing
“Planned Housing” is a very important task before planning any megacity. To make a city fit for living, residential and commercial areas are needed to be distinguished. Then, to establish a proper housing, proper estimation and distribution of the expected population is needed. A planned housing system ensures safe and healthy living in a city. Planned housing is an age old practice. Many ancient cities like Rome or Baghdad had well planned housing system. In modern world, this practice has become more necessary as population has increased enormously but, land areas are still the same. So, only planned housing can accommodate this huge population. Figure 2: An urban plan with planned housing of 1902

2.2 Planned Housing in Dhaka City
As Dhaka is one of the most flourishing megacities in south-east Asia, the city is burdened with a lot of socio-economic headquarters and business possibilities. In any other city, this could be a positive side, but for Dhaka, this has become a big problem. People from all over the country are bound to step into this city because; all administrative and business headquarters of the country are in Dhaka. So, the population of Dhaka is ascending with no limits. So, a planned housing system is highly needed for the city. To make Dhaka a well planned megacity, “Rajdhani Unnayan Kortripokkho (RAJUK) “is the only organization that is assigned. RAJUK keeps eye on the total planning of the city and they are working on building a well planned housing system in the city. RAJUK covers 1528 sq. kilometers of area to plan a habitable Dhaka. The plan covers areas within- * Gazipur Pourashava(Municipality) to the North

* Dhaleshawri River to the south
* Bangshi and Dhaleshawri River to the west
* Shitalakkhya and Meghna River to the East

Figure 3: Dhaka city map

This total area is taken under the master plan named “Detailed Area Plan (DAP)”. Goal of DAP is to plan a better Dhaka with better opportunities of living, travelling and passing daily life with more comfort. So, the plan certainly covers measures to implement a proper...
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