The World Bank has approved $100.5 million to improve public spaces and urban services in four neighbourhoods under the Dhaka South City Corporation.
The Dhaka City Neighborhood Upgrading Project will benefit about a million residents. It will specially cater to the needs of women, youths, elderly and disabled, who often refrain from using public amenities, reports the UNB.
Under this project, liveability of the selected areas will be enhanced by improving open public spaces such as parks, playgrounds, waterfronts, streets, sidewalks, and public buildings such as community centres.
‘ Well-designed public areas such as streets, sidewalks, parks, lighting, and multipurpose community centres can make a big difference to people’s lives. They can immensely improve the living standards by improving safety, health, mobility, recreation and economic vibrancy,’ said Jon Kher Kaw, World Bank Team Leader for the Dhaka City Neighborhood Upgrading Project.
The project will appraise, design, and implement schemes to enhance public spaces and address challenges of unplanned urbanisation in Kamrangir Char, Lalbagh, Sutrapur-Nayabazar-Gulistan and Khilgaon-Mugda-Bashabo localities.
It will help increase green open spaces. Multipurpose community centres will include a mix of new uses to serve neighbourhoods and incorporate environment-friendly features and energy efficient design principles and materials.
‘Global experience shows that good public urban spaces are fundamental to improving the quality of life. The project will pilot interventions to enable the residents to better use and enjoy public urban spaces,’ said Robert Saum, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan.
The credit from the World Bank’s International Development Association, which provides concessional financing, has a 30-year term, including a five-year grace period. It has an interest rate of 1.25 percent with a service charge of 0.75 percent.