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Growth of Urban Eating Places nearby the Planned Commercial & Residential Areas in Dhaka: Transformation of Banani-11 from Residential to Commercial

Kashfia Alam Khan
American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture. 2020, 8(2), 37-43. DOI: 10.12691/ajcea-8-2-2
Received February 13, 2020; Revised March 20, 2020; Accepted March 29, 2020

Abstract

Dhaka, being the heart and capital of Bangladesh, has been undergoing through various morphological and physical evaluations and functional transformations for its uncontrollably growing number of population and centralized form of commercial activity. Within this context, Banani-11 is one of the very popular and well-known streets of Dhaka which gradually transformed from deliberately planned residential to commercial, due to its significant location and ease of accessibility. In recent years, different types of food-shops and restaurants are taking over both sides of this street in a way that the image of this street is changing significantly. The moderate commercial road can be easily differentiated from the adjacent commercial roads for the increasing number of eating places on this street. This paper is focused on how this road is transforming into a road of vibrant eating places and contributing to the surrounding neighborhood. The research has been based on case study method along with observation, correlation, and archival research. Data come from mapping and surveying of the area and analyzing the typologies of the existing eating places, comparing them by their functional and use-user analysis. The research outcome establishes that Banani-11 is a street, which already transformed from residential to commercial, is now heading to be a street of eating places to serve the adjacent commercial and residential areas. The chronological transformation of the spaces on this road is thus residential to commercial, commercial to especially ‘eating places’- and then eating places to informal eating places.

1. Introduction

If we think about city transformation, it is predicted that the transformation is made by superimposing by the city authority. But there are some informal city transformations happening spontaneously around the world, especially in developing world, where government control is not that strong and city growth is faster than planning and implementation sector. In these cities, transformations happen spontaneously on public and urban demands. Basically spontaneous transformation is firstly identified through the visible change of a street when streets are linked up with better connections.

Bangladesh, being a highly populated developing country, has been facing drastic changes at city and village levels either in planned or unplanned manner. Banani-11 is one of those very popular and well-known streets of Dhaka city which have transformed gradually and spontaneously from 'once-upon a time' residential to a 'significant commercial' road over time. The location and accessibility of this road makes it more inclined to be used for commercial activities. In recent years, restaurants and food shops has been taking over most of its commercial spaces which leads this street to be known as a food street of this commercial hub. The aim of this paper is to establish the fact that the street Banani-11, for its location, accessibility and context, is gradually transforming to be a recognized food street which is serving the adjacent commercial and residential areas by providing the culinary services as a resultant or outcome from the need of the surrounding society and urban context.

This paper also shows how they are gradually changing the character and image of the street, whether the increased number of food shops are affecting the vehicular accessibility or not, whether the road needs more provision to pedestrian accessibility or not, whether there is any negative impact imposed by the growing number of eating places at Banani-11. The method of research of the paper will be a combination of field work and survey along with some relative mappings and data analysis.

2. Literature Review

2.1. Space Syntax Analysis

According to Hillier, the city as a physical system consists of two components:

1) A continuous network of space, usually in the form of road network; and

2) A collection of functional location associated with particular land use

3.

Kostof describes the cities as being the product of both planned and unplanned processes 7. In planned development the street pattern and the functional location of building, or more often the subdivision on which they will be built, are laid together, usually within the boundary of some large area. In which the distribution and modification of each element influences the development of others. In the development process of any urban area, the distribution of use will change over time with minor modification in the physical structure. In most cases, the changes in the use pattern will be influenced by the physical configuration of the street network. According to the space syntax theory, the integration value of spatial configuration give us a clear picture about the fundamental relationship between street network with urban function including movement and land use 6. The reason behind the morphological transformation and changing land use pattern of Banani residential area is explained by a thorough research conducted by Khan, N. during 2007. The research outcome shows that the continuous transformation of Banani from residential to commercial is not only the result of the absence of strict planning rules of the concerned authority, but also a result of the road hierarchy which can be calculated by Space Syntax. The research shows the spatial logic of the transformation of land use pattern in Banani Residential Area through Space Syntax analysis.

More recent diagrams of space syntax analysis on Banani residential area had been conducted by Nusrat, F. on 2018, on which it is found that the weightage of Banani-11 accelerates drastically after the development of Banani Bridge over Gulshan Lake 9.

2.2. Urbanites Demand

Anthony Flint, while describing a study by planning and design firm Sasaki Associates, wrote that, "Restaurants are the leading force behind reclaimed waterfronts and regenerating neighborhoods, and are a key component of mixed-use development and urban retail." 4. Sasaki Associates found that food is a major driver of the American urban experience 10. 82% of urbanites appreciate their city’s culinary offerings and 46% of people will venture to a new part of a city to try out a new restaurant. The majority of city residents also consider food and restaurants to be the most outstanding aspect of cities they love to visit. Sasaki suggests that planners and designers need to understand urbanites preferences and choices to shape a more satisfying and sustainable urban experience.

3. Research Methods

The research has been based on case study method along with observation, correlation and archival research. The research basically started through observation of the area with a full participation approach. Based on the observation and findings, a field survey has been conducted to identify the actual scenario by generating the latest morphological map and sorting out the actual built restaurant numbers. On this part, all the restaurants are classified into some general typologies to execute the user-need analysis and to understand the development trend of this area. The syntactic analysis of the road has been collected from authentic sources which come from the study of literature and previous research works. It is worth mentioning that, for critical understanding of the cohesion and social phenomena of the road, qualitative analysis has been prioritized over qualitative data.

The overall research framework can be shown in the following diagram:

4. Background History: Chronological development of Banani-11

Banani is an area located almost at the centre of Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh, with a significant location and ease of accessibility. Banani residential area is located in Ward 19 of DCC & SPZ-9 of DMDP and lies in 23 0 47 | to 23 0 48 | N, Latitude and 90 0 24 | to 90 0 24 | 29 | | E, Longitude 5. It is very well connected with the two primary arterial roads of the city i.e. Dhaka-Mymensing highway and Badda road at both endpoints of its main road named Kamal Ataturk Avenue. Road no.11 in Banani Residential Area, is located parallel to this main road and also meets with these two Arterial roads at its endpoints (Figure 3). Consequently, the road is performing like a sub-Secondary Arterial Road with the main Secondary Arterial Road named Kamal Ataturk Avenue. The connectivity and accessibility of these roads encourage the land owners to build up commercial developments instead of residential.

Based on site and service approach, RAJUK{1} started the residential development program of Banani, based on which Banani Model Town was founded in 1964 5. Being very close to the old airport of Dhaka, Banani was developed as a high-class residential area and planned in the style of a regular system of roads to provide residential accommodation for high-income groups of people in Dhaka. The road networks of Banani area almost follow a geometrical gridiron pattern which determines its spatial character.

After the Liberation War in 1971{2}, the spatial structure of Banani did not appear on Dhaka city map until 1973 5. On the maps after 1973, we find that large size plots were developed on both sides of Banani-11 for the stakeholders, which later subdivided by the owners due to multiple number of successors 6. Banani-11 and whole Banani Area had been used as a full-fledged residential area for the aristocrat families back then. Over time, many families living in Banani Area left their houses because of overseas settlements and/or selling and leasing their properties for commercial use because of higher value of their properties to the commercial stakeholders for its central prime location in the city. Eventually, Secondary Arterial Roadside plots were taken over by privates commercial sectors such as offices, banks, private universities, clinics etc.

After the completion of the construction of Banani Bridge on May 2009 2, the traffic load and weightage of Banan-11 accelerated in a significantly. The bridge was developed over Gulshan Lake, connecting the Banani-11 street with the secondary and tertiary roads of Gulshan Model Town, which consequently linked up high-class commercial business districts located at Gulshan Circle-2 and Gulshan Cirle-1 (Figure 4).

5. Analysis of the Road Banani-11

5.1. Transformation of Banani-11 and Its Future Prospect

Although Banani Residential Area was planned and designed as a high-class residential area, the land was provided with a lower amount of community facilities 6. During the planning period the land for residential usage was selected without any consideration of designing the necessary services and amenities at nearby territories or within a walkable distance for running the residential neighborhood. Consequently citizens of this locality had to travel long distance to visit markets in order to buy their daily or monthly necessities. No detail plan was ever made or executed in defining the site and other services for this residential neighborhood. So gradually out of necessity, small scale commercial and retail developments were building up for the benefit of the local residents such as grocery shops, bazaar, stationary shops, laundries, pharmacies, clinics etc and eventually Big scale commercial developments in high-rise buildings like hospitals, private universities and offices took over many places, and ran very well due to the demand of local rich residents.

According to the space syntax theory, those roads which are more spatially connected and known to the people, attract certain type of land use which benefit from the presence of people. Even before the bridge was developed, Banani-11 was well known for its 50 -60 feet wide road and the roadside plots were gradually occupied by the commercial stakeholders. The lack of no hard or fast planning rules from the concerned authorities even encouraged these scattered developments. After the construction of Banani-11 Bridge over Gulshan Lake, the spatial connectivity and overall accessibility from the East and West part of Dhaka city accelerated on a drastic way through the road Banani-11. Most of the residential plots have been changing from residential to commercial from this period. In recent past, the High-court of Bangladesh prohibited the setting up of commercial establishments in residential areas of Banani 1, and allowed commercial operations only on Kamal Ataturk Avenue and street Banani-11 with RAJUK’s permission by changing the residential plots to commercial by legal registration and payments 8.

5.2. Character of Banani-11: Growth of Restaurants

Many business hubs, banks, educational institutions, private universities, clinics, hospitals, shopping centers have been built up on both Kamal Ataturk Avenue and Banani-11. But basically Kamal Ataturk is more formal having mostly business, bank and office buildings, whereas Banani-11 mostly contains top brand retail shops and showrooms and restaurants on different levels of each building (Figure 5 & Figure 6).

If we see the spatial location of Banani-11, it is well understood that the road Banani-11 is acting like a supporting road to the 'Secondary Arterial Road'/main road named Kamal Ataturk Avenue, on which all the plots are already commercialized for mainly office buildings. People who are doing job in this area, the students, the professionals, the residents all can easily come to Banani-11 for shopping and eating during and after the office hours. Thus, from the need by the urban morphological distribution of commercial and residential districts nearby, the location of all food services mainly concentrated on the street of Banani-11.

The walking distance from anywhere of Banani area is within 5-10min to Banani-11 road (Figure 9). As a result, all the employees, university students, service holders, businessmen and residents from nearby areas like Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani residential area or even from Gulshan area can easily come to this street for lunch or dinner by walking or by rickshaw or by taking any light transport within minutes.

To analyze the restaurant development at Banani-11, all the buildings located on both sides of the street Banani-11 were counted, parallelly the number of restaurants were also counted up to see the density of restaurants on this street. The result that came out is maximum restaurants of Banani area are concentrated at the road Banani-11.

There are total 90 buildings located on both sides of Banani-11; among which 93 eating places were found in total including restaurants, food booths and food shops. Among the 90 buildings, 47 buildings contain restaurants or food shops (Figure 10), resulting the buildings that contain restaurants are 52% amongst all the roadside buildings of Banani-11.

In most cases, the restaurants are located either at ground floor, or on the top floors of commercial buildings, ensuring no disturbance for the other commercial/office/retail activities. The floating character of developing restaurants all over the road in a row has turned the feature of this road to be renowned as a food street to the posh group of people in this neighborhood.

5.3. Informal Food Services

Despite of having so many food places at Banani-11, its adjacent secondary and tertiary roads are full of roadside illegal food-carts which occupy road spaces and footpaths of this area creating congestion/obstruction on vehicular and pedestrian pathways. Although Government has evicted the temporary food-carts/ hawkers for many times, it develops again and again which denotes that there is a huge public demand of street-foods in this area.

6. Conclusion

This study demonstrates that commercial areas should be facilitated with adjacent or nearby eating places to serve the users with culinary services and for refreshments, otherwise any unexpected transformation can happen due to user demand. The spontaneous growing of restaurants at Banani-11 seems sustainable as it is supporting the nearby commercial and residential areas in Banani and its surroundings through spatiality and connectivity. The huge demand of food services in this context requires a common area for the culinary activities, for which Banani-11 can be a suitable place. It can be a space for more organized and established street for eating places by improving the pedestrian connection to enhance walkability of this area. The gradual transformation of the street Banani-11 is actually the resultant of modification and alteration process of organic commercial and retail growth in the urban context which follows the hidden morphology within the locality, road network and consumer pattern; although the impact has so many aspects to analyze from the socio-economic point of view.

Acknowledgements

The study had been conducted to produce a term-end project for the Urban Studio (Studio VII) by the 4th year students of Primeasia University under the author’s supervision. The project was titled ‘Evolution of Banani-11 as a road of Eating Places’. I gratefully thank my students Mussarrat Tabassum Ananta, Shaima Moni Shah and Binita Biswas who partially assisted me to collect extensive data by field surveying.

Notes

1. RAJUK= Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripokkho; means the Development Board of Dhaka.

2. Before 1971 Liberation War, Bangladesh was a part of the state Pakistan as 'East Pakistan' and the spelling of 'Dhaka' was written as 'Dacca'.

References

[1]  (2018, March 6). Retrieved from The Daily Sun Newspaper: http://www.daily-sun.com/post/293383/2018/03/06/City-residential-areas-turn-commercial-hubs.
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[2]  AML Constructions. (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2019, from http://www.amlbd.com/aml-construction/our-projects/.
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[3]  Erickson, B. &.-J. (1997). Experiment with Settlement Aggregation Model. Space Syntax,First International Symposium. London.
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[4]  Flint, A. (2014). Restaurants Really Can Determine the Fate of Cities and Neighborhoods. New York: Citylab.
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[5]  Islam, M. S. (2006). Real Estate Development in Banani RIA: an Investigation into its Effects on the Built Environment. Dhaka: unpublished BURP thesis of Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka.
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[6]  Khan, N. (2008). Study of morphological transformation in planned residential areas of Dhaka city. Dhaka: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Unpublished Thesis).
In article      
 
[7]  Kostof, S. (1991). The City Shaped: Urban Pattern and Meaning Throughout History. London: Thames & Hudson.
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[8]  Masum, O. (2018, October 6). BDNews24.com. Retrieved from https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2018/10/06/calls-for-rajuk-to-act-as-commercial-assault-on-banani-residential-plots-rages-on
In article      
 
[9]  Nusrat, F. (2018). GROWTH OF URBAN RETAILING IN PLANNED RESIDENTIAL AREAS OF DHAKA: A CASE STUDY OF BANANI . THE 4th NZAAR INTERNATIONAL EVENT SERIES ON NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT, CITIES, SUSTAINABILITY AND ADVANCED ENGINEERING (p. 187). Kualalampur, Malaysia: New Zealand Academy of Applied Research Ltd.
In article      
 
[10]  Sasaki Assosiates. (2014, July 22). What Makes the City Great? Retrieved November 1, 2018, from http://www.sasaki.com/media/files/infographic_final_71114.pdf.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2020 Kashfia Alam Khan

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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Normal Style
Kashfia Alam Khan. Growth of Urban Eating Places nearby the Planned Commercial & Residential Areas in Dhaka: Transformation of Banani-11 from Residential to Commercial. American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture. Vol. 8, No. 2, 2020, pp 37-43. http://pubs.sciepub.com/ajcea/8/2/2
MLA Style
Khan, Kashfia Alam. "Growth of Urban Eating Places nearby the Planned Commercial & Residential Areas in Dhaka: Transformation of Banani-11 from Residential to Commercial." American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture 8.2 (2020): 37-43.
APA Style
Khan, K. A. (2020). Growth of Urban Eating Places nearby the Planned Commercial & Residential Areas in Dhaka: Transformation of Banani-11 from Residential to Commercial. American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture, 8(2), 37-43.
Chicago Style
Khan, Kashfia Alam. "Growth of Urban Eating Places nearby the Planned Commercial & Residential Areas in Dhaka: Transformation of Banani-11 from Residential to Commercial." American Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture 8, no. 2 (2020): 37-43.
Share
[1]  (2018, March 6). Retrieved from The Daily Sun Newspaper: http://www.daily-sun.com/post/293383/2018/03/06/City-residential-areas-turn-commercial-hubs.
In article      
 
[2]  AML Constructions. (n.d.). Retrieved April 1, 2019, from http://www.amlbd.com/aml-construction/our-projects/.
In article      
 
[3]  Erickson, B. &.-J. (1997). Experiment with Settlement Aggregation Model. Space Syntax,First International Symposium. London.
In article      View Article
 
[4]  Flint, A. (2014). Restaurants Really Can Determine the Fate of Cities and Neighborhoods. New York: Citylab.
In article      
 
[5]  Islam, M. S. (2006). Real Estate Development in Banani RIA: an Investigation into its Effects on the Built Environment. Dhaka: unpublished BURP thesis of Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka.
In article      
 
[6]  Khan, N. (2008). Study of morphological transformation in planned residential areas of Dhaka city. Dhaka: Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Unpublished Thesis).
In article      
 
[7]  Kostof, S. (1991). The City Shaped: Urban Pattern and Meaning Throughout History. London: Thames & Hudson.
In article      
 
[8]  Masum, O. (2018, October 6). BDNews24.com. Retrieved from https://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2018/10/06/calls-for-rajuk-to-act-as-commercial-assault-on-banani-residential-plots-rages-on
In article      
 
[9]  Nusrat, F. (2018). GROWTH OF URBAN RETAILING IN PLANNED RESIDENTIAL AREAS OF DHAKA: A CASE STUDY OF BANANI . THE 4th NZAAR INTERNATIONAL EVENT SERIES ON NATURAL AND BUILT ENVIRONMENT, CITIES, SUSTAINABILITY AND ADVANCED ENGINEERING (p. 187). Kualalampur, Malaysia: New Zealand Academy of Applied Research Ltd.
In article      
 
[10]  Sasaki Assosiates. (2014, July 22). What Makes the City Great? Retrieved November 1, 2018, from http://www.sasaki.com/media/files/infographic_final_71114.pdf.
In article