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Stabilising the Delta, Bangladesh

Part 2 Project 2011
Cara Shields
Marianne Keating
University of Strathclyde Glasgow UK
Our thesis aims to ameliorate the devastating impact of the annual cycle of flooding in Asia on the physical and social fabric of rural communities. This project concentrates on forming solutions to combat the immediate impact of flooding and the exorbitant growth in population and resulting density.

Bangladesh’s growing population means an increasing number of people are vulnerable to the effects of flooding. The frequency and severity of flooding is increasing causing the magnitude of devastation to increase.

Our focus on one particular village in the Delta of Bangladesh led us to explore how we might strengthen the resilience of that community, in the face of annual inundation, both in the building materials used and the emergency provisions required. Drawing on urban experience of flooding through history, we postulated the development of elevated mud plinth settlements, which could run in tandem with general school and community administration requirements, but which in the long-term, could be the basis of an embryonic settlement for future village growth.

The proposed site is located in Sundarban, a rural village in Dinajpur, Northwest Bangladesh. The positioning of the site at an intersection between road, bridge and river makes it a prominent and important one. The river can be used all year round for access from the surrounding area as well as the main arterial road which cuts through it. Further to this the integration with the Bhushir Market embeds the new development within the surrounding area.

In its initial stage the project takes the form of a refuge, training and research centre, designed to provide immediate relief for the surrounding community. Essential research and training of good building practice will be provided to strengthen the physical infrastructure of the area.

In the long term, the design allows for flexibility in its use and continued integration within its context. In response to the growing population the project’s location encourages centralised growth preventing rural sprawl, preserving essential agricultural land and thus promoting inevitable urbanisation.

Cara Shields
Marianne Keating


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