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Housing at Uttara Model Town in Dhaka City

Ananalysis and exploring ways to tackle the housing problem of middle class

Mamun Rashid

Assistant Professor Department of Architecture, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), Dhaka, Bangladesh.


Dhaka alike most cities of the developing world is a poorly managed city, which leads to the deterioration of urban living conditions. Urban poverty results because in many countries, national and local govern- ments cannot plan for the population increases, and fail to provide the required infrastructure, services and jobs.

Government efforts through all these years to provide housing to government servants, to the general public and to the urban poor have not so far been able to make any signi icant dent in the urban housing scene.

The paper intends to scrutinize the effort of government at the end of the 1960s with emphasis on a specific project to solve the housing problem as well as give direction for the growth of Dhaka city.

The government is the single largest provider of built up housing in Bangladesh mainly in the form of accommodation for its employees. Although the number of units provided is far less than the number of employees, government housing continues to be a strong influence on urban housing in general. Other than the built form projects were taken in form of giving access to land and providing infrastructure facilities. The trends established by government housing are followed by other semi-government agencies and to a large extent by private developers. The formal planned developments also influence the unplanned settlements.

Government housing can therefore be said to be representational of urban housing in general. So in bringing out the problem related to strategies of the project the intention is that the efforts in future can be made more meaningful and effective. The objective of this paper is also to discuss the housing problem faced by the different income level especially by the lower income group of urban middle class in Dhaka through the analysis of Uttara Model Town housing. The paper would also investigate the dominants form of walk-up houses. In doing so the present housing trend would be investigated with respect to a specific building project.

Problem Definition

The satellite town was created to solve the housing problem of middle class in the 70s modelled on housing solutions done on 60s in the central area and northern areas of Dhaka city. The project failed to


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