Housing at Uttara Model Town in Dhaka City
poor, and punitive demolition and eviction actions against squatter dwellers.
This represents a missed opportunity, for the Uttara model provides the basis for a sustainable and effective strategy addressing the living environment and livelihood development needs of the urban population. There is no evidence in the present activity of housing to suggest that the experiences gained during the project have in any way informed the policy approach to middle to low-income urban housing. The process of project design, implementation and evaluation needs to be carefully examined, to ensure that:
There is an appropriate relationship between goals, objectives, activities and outputs.
The structure and duration of the project reflects the full development process with which it is concerned.
There is a clear and appropriate designation of institutional responsibilities for all aspects of the project.
Adequate internal and external monitoring and evaluation processes are integral to the project.
Effective external evaluation is an essential complement to a good internal monitoring and evaluation system and needs to be integrated at the design stage. The success or the failure of the Uttara model should be more widely publicised: not just within the institutions directly involved in its implementation, but also in the wider public domain so that other institutions with an interest in this area are made aware of the results.
Creation of self-sustaining finance systems to meet for affordable inance of the people when purchasing, building or improving their dwelling units should be important component of national and national policies for the achievement of the goal of shelter for all.
Housing that meets the affordibility of all of middle class must be explored. Researches in Low cost housing are necessary with reduction in the cost of land and infrastructure.
Clearly, it is important to include a broad variety of housing opportunities to meet changing needs. Encouraging a diversity of housing by type, accessibility, tenure, and cost will ensure that Uttara continues to have a healthy mix of people. But what does variety mean? Where and how should new housing forms be integrated into neighbourhoods? These should be incorporated with design ideas.
Encourage a broad variety of housing types, universal designed dwelling units, tenures and price ranges suitable to meet the needs of everyone in the community, including families, singles, couples, people with disabilities and seniors.
Cooperative solutions for multi-storey dwellings could also be explored. In Dhaka city we have individual ownership of units in the high-rise dwellings constructed by private entrepreneurs.
As government strategies will have to integrate housing policies and physical planning programmes into economic and social development planning, political will must above all be exercised with imagination. If we are to come up with new formulas, with new advice, housing strategies have to practical, affordable for different economic groups and replicable within the cultural and social context. As the philosopher Albert Einstein so rightly said, “In time of crisis, imagination is more important than knowledge”.