Parks and playgrounds play a very important role in cities. But Dhaka city lacks this important component in most communities. And the areas having parks and playgrounds are not fully utilized. A playground becomes accessible for all, when it reflects requirements of everyone. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), HealthBridge-Canada, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, Block by Block and UN-Habitat have jointly taken initiative to make six parks and playgrounds of Mirpur area (ward no 2, 4, 5, 7 and 9) accessible for all. Community people have created designs for each site by using Minecraft game. Participatory approach is very important while improving parks and playgrounds to ensure proper development, usage and maintenance of those. On 6th July 2019 speakers of the closing ceremony of interactive workshop on Minecraft for Participatory Public Space Design expressed such.
Participants of the workshop were divided into six groups and they created design of their assigned site. At the closing day of the workshop they presented their 3-D design. Some common components were proposed by all groups. They are- children’s play corner, wide walk way, grilled wall (so that all activities can be seen from outside), public toilet, lighting, security guard etc.
Regional Director of HealthBridge-Canada Debra Efroymson said that, we can make parks and playgrounds accessible by bringing some small changes. Boishakhi playground is a good example in this regard. Women used this field only to walk but after creating children’s corner presence of toddlers, girl child and women has increased to a great extent.
Director of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (RAJUK) Ashraful Islam said that, we have monetary crisis but the designs can be implemented with small investment. Creating larger scale parks and playgrounds is really challenging. So we need to utilize unused spaces. Project Director of Urban Resilient Project and Upgrading, Regenerating and Greening of the Urban Spaces in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Dr Tariq Bin Yousuf said that though participatory approach consumes time but it is very important to improve and create parks and playgrounds. Minecraft is a useful tool in this regard. The draft designs will be scaled-up by planner and architect soon. Then construction work will start after validation workshop with the communities.
The closing ceremony was facilitated by Program Mangaer of WBB Trust Maruf Hossain. Urban Planning and Design Officer at UN-Habitat Sohel Rana, Minecraft expert Eugenio Gastelum, participants from six communities of Mirpur area, representative from Save the Children and staffs of WBB Trust were present in the program. Finally, guests were distributed the certificates among the participants.