Urban sprawl and unplanned land use development have driven back the Shitalakshya waterfront area to the neglected urban fringe of Narayanganj city. Presently, the city is facing the crisis of a breathing space that can uplift the quality of the urban environment. An integrated approach to designing a civic healing space, thus attracting the city residents to explore the river edge area, can bring back the ambiance of the glorious past. This project is proposed by Md. Asifur Rahman, student of Chittagong University of Engineering & Technology (CUET).
The design decision is taken based on NCC proposals, site analysis, and area demand analysis. Again, the site has a rich Mughal and Colonial archeological history which is one of the main strengths of the project. Mughal planning geometry, Mughal Garden landscaping, building features, Colonial building features, and previous functional use of the spaces are considered in the proposed masterplan.
The appreciated site is located at 11 and 12 no. ward of Narayanganj City Corporation area on Narayanganj district approximately 110 acres. It is a historically enriched area having some archeological heritage buildings and places- The Shitalakshya river, Hajigonj fort, Bibi Mariam’s tomb complex, Borofkol playfield, Killarpool canal, and Kumudini Welfare Trust of Bengal Dockyard & office building are the noticeable landmarks of the site. Most of the riverfront area is occupied by government institutions (BIWTA, BWDB), and some of the areas are given as leases to private stakeholders (KUMUDINI). Hence unplanned government land use development and intrusion of various functions make the area more vulnerable.
Considering all the design decision is taken in terms of- accessibility, visibility, amenities, user group, and urban green & blue area in the proposed masterplan which consists of Archeological institute, Amphitheatre, River Ghats, Museum gallery- Mughal & Colonial, City center-cineplex, convention hall, library, exhibition, food court, Riverpark, Playfield, Pedestrian & cycle track regarding the site and public demand analysis. Hence, the proposed masterplan integrates the river and the city people with the rich archeological heritage and existing morphology of the area, combining public amenities demand and functional requirements. By instigating this process of integration of city people with heritage and river, the Shitalakshya riverfront could be a precedent for modern urban waterfront design.