Gulshan Avenue has seen much changes, from being a quiet avenue for a planned residential district to a corporate and commercial axis. Despite a lineup of striking buildings, Gulshan Avenue still lacks a proper civic and walkable environment. There are no significant places or spaces for public gathering, and no remarkable sites or structures to celebrate the avenue as a civic corridor. It is merely a road dedicated to the unruly car. The existing scenario can be arranged better with a new installation of exemplary public spaces, parks and pathways stretching from Gulshan 2 to Kawran Bazar via Hatirjheel. We propose the following:
Providing a new schema and standards for the sidewalk in order to create an organized walkable network that links key points, hubs and destinations. Gulshan Avenue itself can become a continuous walkable corridor providing for Dhaka an example of a proper tree lined, comfortable walkable street with the pedestrian as priority. A decent walkable city can reduce urban stress as well as transport crisis.
Creating generous public places and plazas wherever it is possible (especially on city owned sites). A clearly doable project is to convert Gulshan 2 road intersection into a pedestrian plaza. This can be done by rerouting car traffic around the outer circle of Gulshan 2 in a continuous loop that will also ease traffic movement considerably. The plaza itself can be a lively gathering place for the whole area, as well as outdoor seating for adjoining businesses. On occasions, the plaza can be used for musical events, melas, flower shows and other events.
Converting selected city properties into a better and efficient public realm: The DNCC owned markets in Gulshan 2 area can be renovated into a proper civic center with new shopping facilities, offices, auditoriums, but most importantly, walkable public spaces and passages. Such an arrangement is also expected to yield higher economic results. In developing each city property, multi-level underground parking is suggested to reduce anarchic parking on the streets.
Promoting parks and gardens wherever opportunities exist: Gulshan and Banani lakes are assets to the city. As an exemplary project, we propose strengthening the development of Gulshan Lake East as a recreational park and ecological zone. We also propose transforming existing Gulshan park as a designated sculpture park with other art related programs. A five story underground parking can be constructed below the grounds of the green park. With the parks, lakeside walkways and pedestrian corridor, green belts may link up Gulshan and Hatirjheel.