Dhaka City has experienced radical changes in its physical form of regional expansion and internal physical revolutions over the last decades. With these changes, the elements of urban form have changed.Open spaces and plots have been transformed into built-up areas, low land and water bodies into reclaimed built-up lands etc. Time affects differently the layout of cities and the architecture of buildings.
with the passage of time, the Dhaka city grew in a natural way, although it some parts which have been deliberately created in the recent past by the designers. Studies show that at present three distinctive types of urban settlements exist in Dhaka City. These are the indigenous, formal, and informal settlements 1. The Indigenous settlement is characterized by its high-density mixed land use pattern, typically giving the outer layer to the commercial uses and retaining the inner part for residential and manufacturing purpose.Old Dhaka retains the traditional features it has inherited from the past. The natural endowment of its organic morphology is valued for its ‘Indigenous’ urban pattern 2. Formal/Planned’ schemes/ geometric layout has been introduced in Dhaka city the early 1950s.
The street layout follows a grid-iron pattern with some semi-circular segments.The formal settlement is very specific (separate zone for residential /commercial /industrial /institutional etc.)and compartmentalized. Such as Dhanmondi, Tejgaon, Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Lalmatia and Mohammadpur and so on.
3. In the newer extension of Dhaka, outside the historic core, similar organic morphological patterns are prevalent which have been naturally developed without any rigid planning framework.the character of these newer areas is chaotic and sprawling. These are customarily described as “informal” development. The informal settlement lies in between the two, which ranges from a formal variation to indigenous variation according to need of time and place.
Areas like Ramna, Shantinagar, Moghbazar, and Badda are examples of this type of settlement.