Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and Urban Resilience: A study on emergence, constrains and future directions in selected areas of Dhaka city.
Chapter One: Introduction
With urbanization, globalization and other rapid transformations in world, urban form undergoes profound changes in terms of quick urban expansion, continuous emergence of new space, reconstruction of urban landscape by high-rise buildings, pressure of migration, environmental changes & challenges made urban ecological systems under threat. Moreover, climate change making natural and human induced hazards more extensive and frequent.
Resilience is a way of coping with disasters. The huge loss of lives, property, economy and society can be minimized by making our cities resilient to disaster. With accelerated urbanization worldwide, it is essential to seek & prepare innovative and efficient new policies to conserve urban ecosystems, species and the services these provide in order to secure more sustainable, resilient and livable cities for the 21st century (Suárez et al., 2016). So, the concept of resilience is very crucially imbedded with development planning of cities. Now a days, Disaster resilience and management of urban areas has been a great challenge for town planners. Disasters usually occur very suddenly, no time to react or be ready for immediate mitigation actions. Hence, resilience should be mainstreamed at the very early stages of development to make the final product strong, robust and flexible to withstand shocks and stresses. Disaster resilience is thus a desired attribute which city should possess in their urban planning and management strategies.
As a planning tool, zoning & other land use regulation and building code has proven to be most effective for reducing disaster and chronic risk in the developed world where urban density is one of the crucial factors (Moullier et al.,2015). Every city has a limit of allowable optimum density for providing uninterrupted economic urban infrastructure and services. To regulate and manage sustainable urban density, the concept of Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is introduced and used as safe load factor that the city can allow, cope with, adjust and maintain for healthy living. FAR determine total construction area of buildings that directly impact upon building footprint likely to differ by population dynamics, growth patterns and road width as well as the nature of the land or space where a building is placed varies.
Considering the severe increase of population & other externalities with an aim towards more sustainable future settlements & building solutions, the authority has initiated modification of building codes and enacted Floor Area Ratio in Dhaka Imarat Nirman Bidhimale, 2008. This paper has examined scope of the FAR regulation in urban areas, traced the gradual progress of evolving regulation codes for buildings and investigate the context of imposing FAR in Dhaka. The aim of the research is to identify FAR’s areas of interventions and ways to support building urban resilience.
2. Problem statement
unplanned urbanization with unregulated growth is a major source of vulnerability in Dhaka. Again, Poor infrastructure and a lack of basic services increase the vulnerabilities of Dhaka’s residents (Stott & Nadiruzzaman, 2014).