Engaging Community in designing safe public spaces
HealthBridge's partner Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, with support from UN-Habitat and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), is working with a low-income community in Dhaka to design six public spaces. They recently organized a workshop to use the computer game Minecraft to gain citizen involvement into the planning and designing process. An architect will fine-tune the Minecraft-based designs and share with community. After finalizing the designs the spaces will be renovated to make them fully usable for the local community.
At the workshop, which was held at the WBB offices a variety of local residents worked together to decide what they would like to see happen to the open spaces, which are now used partly as rubbish dumps and for vehicle parking. The residents included males and females of a mix of ages and physical abilities, working together in groups of six. The main concerns expressed in the workshop were for safety, a place for children to play, and a walking path for the elderly and others to exercise.
The project represents a collaboration between local citizens, WBB, HealthBridge, and local government. WBB, with funding from UN-Habitat via HealthBridge, previously did a similar project at an open space in another low-income area. The result is a playground for children that is extremely popular, and has succeeded in attracting girls to a field that was otherwise used almost exclusively by boys.