BLURRING THE LINE : Rejuvenating entrepreneurial potential to develop the socio-economic scenario of urban slums

Taorem Sananu
Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, Department of Architecture, Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Dhaka

Project idea

In developing countries like Bangladesh, every year thousands of people comes to the cities like Dhaka, in search of better job opportunity .This poor migrated group take place near rich urban areas where they can give services. As, here transportation cost is very high and their economic status is not good enough, they end up living in slums. However, their dream of economic solvency remain unsuccessful, as they cannot reach to their desired goal. As there is always a fine line between these different economic classes. The most service-providing group always stays hidden and unrecognized under these lines.

Urban slums, having both the elasticity of slums and staticity of urban structures tends to create a distinct line that divides them. This physically visible line is only a glimpse of the contrast between urban poor and city dwellers, which is eventually an outcome of more profound economic and social differences these communities hold. The economical difference creates difference in social status, which further turns into a visible line, The Boundary. These economical, social and physical partitions have been a hindrance to the slums as they keep piling up day by day leaving no space for their socio-economical growth ultimately transforming them into a burden for future cities.
This project approached this problem harnessing the energy of 'Slum Entrepreneurs' that fuels Sattola slum making it resilient in economic sector. Sattola slum which is situated at the area between Mahakhali, Neketon, Hatirjheel and Tejgaon Industrial zone. It act as a service center of these zones but their entrepreneurial potentiality is reflected in their central roadside market area showcasing their rich skillset as they are migrated from different areas from Bangladesh. In this project, economic redevelopment is achieved by redistributing Sattola's existing market layout and integrating entrepreneur friendly approaches into existing scenario.

Project description

To blur the conflict between these economically different communities, economical upgradation is essential by which they can design their own life style. In this project three types of module is designed at three thresholds to blur economic, social and physical lines to build up an interdependent relationship between these two communities.
Entrepreneur module: This module give the entrepreneur of slums, the opportunity of practicing their ideas with proper technological and infrastructural support which they are lagging behind. It also consists of accommodation and upgraded market layout to boost up their existing economic sources.
Urban module: Proposed locations are near primary roadsides, so that hawkers, vendors, slum dwellers can easily display their best products without causing any havoc in traffic as well cover a greater range of customers and merge into the urban fabric. The structure fulfill the demand of urban people, need of Market and the need of Slum. The visual and physical interaction provided by this structure blurs the social and economic line and drives them towards solvency. Modules are connected with service areas.
Community module: project location: The unused water bodies, which is used as waste dump-yard and affect their hygiene and healthy life style can transform into useful spaces. Community gathering training center, school etc which will ensure the education of the future entrepreneurs as well their social growth and check natural damage caused by urban slums. Extended pergola from waterside houses form a shaded pathway allowing the passerby to enjoy the view of waterside which breaks the monotony of city fabric at a time make access to slum which is firmly avoided by the civilians. This

Technical information

By considering their economic status mostly recycled materials are used which can be easily collected from nearby communities and construction site.
Entrepreneur module: As these structures are proposed to build in the narrow boundary areas of nearby communities, natural lighting, ventilation and services are sensitively handled. The lower portion are designed to be open and stronger while upper portion is more temporary and spaces can be easily modifiable as modular construction method is used to accommodate the multifunctional activities going to occur here. Dwellers have the advantage to change the materials of the panels according to development of their economic status. Controlled access in each level is ensured considering their need and privacy.
Commercial module: Lower level is designed to enlarge the roadside pedestrian and give the space for open market. Distribution of shops in each level is designed as per the need of customers and shop-keepers. Play of solid and void spaces are ensured following the function.
Community module: Indoor, outdoor and semi outdoor spaces are designed to meet the demand of slum people and also for outsiders. Panels are flexible to give them the desired enclosure and also open up to outdoor as per requirement. The outside pavilion connected with the waterside houses give direction to both communities people towards the structure while giving the opportunity of bringing green in this lifeless city fabric.


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