Dhaka / Master Plan in 1959

The second master plan for Dhaka was formulated in 1959 by three British planners, Minoprio, Spencely and MacFarlane, in a British post-colonial setting, under the Pakistani colonisation of Dhaka. When Pakistan was carved out from India in 1947 it emerged as a country with its own unique problems. East and West Pakistan were not only separated by religion but were very different in every aspect of life. Unrest was finally being set off in 1952 by the language movement, which was acted as the forerunner to political movement against West Pakistan later. It was against this backdrop of political unrest that the 1959 master plan was formulated. The report consists of 15 chapters including, transport, public buildings, population, housing, education, open spaces, commerce, industry, public utility services, land for special purposes, planning administration and implementation, and legislation.

The objective of the 1959 Master Plan was to provide a comprehensive plan for the anticipated rapid population growth of Dhaka, as well as to establish planning principles rather than to lay down a detailed and inflexible scheme. The objective of this master plan was to identify two major problems of the development of the city: (i) shortage of land above flood level on for major construction and (ii) the congestion in the old Dhaka center. The plan was prepared over a 20 year planning horizon (1958 to 1978) with an estimated population increase by 40%, which was 1.75% per annum. The plan clearly defined the land use pattern, zoning, water bodies, flood prone and buildable zones.

The master plan also shows major open spaces together, 1184 acres, comprising 291 acres existing, and 893 acres proposed. These are important for reservations which have more than neighborhood significance. They are mostly situated in the outer areas, though the opportunity plan a park-way running diagonally north-west and south-west across the old town.

Dhaka_Open Map: Open Space Proposal in Dhaka Master Plan 1959

The Failure of the 1917 Geddes Master Plan and 1959 Minoprio, Spencely, Macfarlane Master Plans: Some Reflections, Bayezid Ismail Choudhury, Paul Jones, Peter Armstrong

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