Ms. Sonia Islam

As Architects, we, space planners work to improve the welfare of people and their communities by creating more convenient, equitable, healthy, efficient and attractive places for present and future generations. Our job is not only limited within the task of shaping a place to its livable form but also to look at the sustainability of it. We are given the opportunity to explore our own ideas and the task to express them so as to create an impact globally. With numerous options for specialization, I chose to specialize on the sector of urban spatial structure and physical design and the way in which cities work. In the process, understanding of social and environmental impact of planning decisions on communities is important.

I come from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. I have had the opportunity to document the old part of the city that dates back to 400 years. An experience to have explored and analyze the style of architecture and urban pattern of it which seems to have had less impact on the present city planning, that is something I wanted to contribute to the program of Urban management and development. To me it is important to understand the technique for involving a wide range of people in planning decisions. It is ultimately the user group that we plan for. We have to keep in mind that the context of Bangladesh gives us limited opportunities to execute what WE think are best for the living conditions. Keeping that in mind, it would be one of my priorities to adapt planning techniques that would reach out to common people of our country. As anyone who loves their country, I would like to be an architect who would contribute to the welfare of the society, facing the challenged that come in the way. Bangladesh, at this moment is facing a dual crisis of an alarming population explosion and the stark inefficiency of resources to meet up the present group of inhabitants. Bangladesh certainly has potentials to express itself to the outer world. All that is required is a little initiative to get those in track. The urban planning situation of this country is not satisfactory at present. “A place to live in” is what people look for. Proper utilization of space is something that we lack in.

I am aware of how social changes influence design and how design can create pre conditions and transformations. I would also like to be able to visualize alternatives to the physical and social environments in which we live in. I think it is very important that we get to know the present condition in order to even change it a bit!

It goes without saying that the interaction among the economy, transportation, health and human services and land use regulation are equally important in order to present to the society an Urban context to live in, which they might call “sustainable.” I believe self- discipline and motivation are two things that are highly required for being a contribution yourself in the field of Urban Management and Development in the present world context.