Green up and clean up! Improving parks in Dhaka
Dhaka residents need more parks, and the existing ones should be better maintained, according to a recent report by HealthBridge partner WBB Trust.
The report, Parks and playgrounds in Dhaka: taking stock and moving forward, was released in Dhaka on Oct. 29. It describes the current state of parks in the capital city of Bangladesh:
“Parks are exceptionally scarce in Dhaka relative to both other large cities, and guidelines established by the World Health Organisation. Dhaka City counts less than 1 square metre of green space per resident (between 0.05 and 0.5 sq m per capita, depending on the source). This is shy of the WHO guidelines that recommend 9 sq m per capita by more than one order of magnitude.”
WBB Assistant Advocacy Officer Naima Akter was Keynote Speaker at the launch. According to Naima, people are eager to use Dhaka’s parks but discouraged by obstacles such as garbage in the parks, unsafe equipment and lack of accessibility.
Among the report’s recommendations:
- Protect and expand the network of parks;
- In order to attract new users, focus on sanitation and safety;
- Prioritise walking over other transport modes;
- Provide ample furniture, shelter, and shade;
- Explicitly cater to all ages, genders, and activity limitations;
- Engage the community;
- Plan for maintenance.
The report ends with a Call to Action: “Priority must be given to the improvement of these spaces, so that they can fill their role as places of relaxation, interaction, and active recreation for people of all ages, genders, and activity limitations.”
Visit the website of WBB Trust