The paper attempts to identify the spatial challenges of promoting pedestrianization around a future station area. The study has been caried out within the 500m radius of Motijheel Station which is at the CBD of Dhaka city.
Dhaka is the densest and one of the rapidly urbanizing megacities in the world. Like other developing contexts the city is struggling with a massive population which creates huge traffic congestion on roads. Addressing this issue the first-ever mass rapid transit project MRT-Line 6 has been initiated that is expected to be completed by 2021. Besides, the government holds a plan of making Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) surrounding the future 16 station areas. TOD is a popular and recognized planning and design tool to achieve a dense, mix-used, walkable living neighborhood around a station. Although apparently, the strategy of executing TOD looks appropriate and promising but, pedestrianization, a core element of TOD, has been heavily overlooked in the current planning process. Particularly, in an unplanned, almost developed city with the only 600km of a sidewalk, ensuring pedestrianization will not only be difficult but also of utmost challenging. Moreover, obstructions and encroachment by vendors and others making this situation more complex. Therefore, it was essential to critically consider pedestrianization in the mainstream planning process for making TOD sustainable in the context of Dhaka. This paper will attempt to identify the constraints of promoting pedestrianization around a future station area. In doing so, the study has been carried out on Motijheel, the central business district of Dhaka, which is considered as one of the most challenging station areas. Within this area of investigation, with a physical survey, the existing scenario of pedestrian space and its adjacent road conditions are explored. Following that, a Geographic Information System (GIS) based analysis has been conducted to measure the level of obstructions within the 500-meter radius of Motijheel. Finally, based on the findings, the paper will also provide an overview of how dissimilar the pedestrian characteristics are compared to the developed countries that implemented TOD.