Parks and playgrounds are important component of urban settings. But the facility has not been ensured in all communities of Dhaka city. Many of the existing parks and playgrounds are not accessible for women, children and person with disabilities. It is important to have reflection of desired requirements of the users in parks and playgrounds. Considering this, with collaboration of Dhaka North City Corporation, Health-Bridge Canada, Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust, Block by Block and UN-Habitat, community people of 5 wards (2,4,5,7 and 9) Mirpur designed 5 spaces to upgrade as small scale public spaces. Most of these spaces were abandoned. Some minor changes, with support of community people, will provide socialization opportunity to the communities. On 19 November 2019, upgradation work was inaugurated in ward 5 (Bauniabadh Eidgah Playground) and ward 2 (Pallabi road no 5 and 6). The work was initiated by WBB Trust with the permission of DNCC and technical and financial support from UN-Habitat.
These two spaces are being upgraded as small scale public space with changes required by community people, such as- playing equipment, seating arrangement, exercise equipment etc.
Project Director of Urban Resilience Project of Dhaka North City Corporation, Tariq Bin Eusuf was present as chief guest of the inauguration ceremony. He said, currently DNCC is improving some conventional parks and playgrounds in Dhaka. Besides, we are creating 5 small scale public spaces, with support of UN-Habitat and WBB Trust. We believe city dwellers will be beneficiaries of these initiatives. Unique part of this project is the community participation. They have participated in designing and implementing process. Also, they will be key responsible for the maintenance of these spaces. In future, we will replicate this model in other areas of Dhaka.
Other speakers said that, Dhaka city lacks enough parks and playgrounds and it has a negative impact upon the physical and mental health of the people, especially children. If underutilized or unused spaces are upgraded as public spaces, it will have a good impact upon them.
The program was moderated by Program Manager of WBB Trust, Maruf Hossain. Commissioner of ward 5 Abdul Rouf, Commissioner of ward 2 Sazzad Hossain, Regional coordinator of UN-Habitat Sohel Rana, Director of WBB Trust Gaous Pearee and hundreds of community people were present in the inauguration ceremony.