Hawklet, an Outlet for Clean and Green Hawkers
by Tanzia Islam
The word ‘mega city’ redefines the city with population density also indicates several challenges which the city dwellers have to deal with on regular basis. Dhaka is a mega city that has been dealing with plentiful challenges. In recent time, the city authority restricted the street hawkers in many places as a solution for the betterment of the city. In collaboration with Work for Better Bangladesh trust (WBB) the research project called ‘Walkers and Hawkers Issues and Proposals’ began.
Alike other mega cities Dhaka also has several income groups and their daily needs. Supermarkets and shopping malls usually are occupied by the high income and mid income groups for particular shopping. This however is not suitable for the low income and in many cases not even suitable for the mid income groups. The question comes, where do they do their shopping then?
Most of the cases street hawkers and vendors are the best option for them. In cities, it is often difficult to keep the neighborhood clean, organized and safe along with service provisions. Street vendors are at times difficult to deal with as most of the cases there is no designated place for them. Thus they occupy the pedestrian walk, road side and many other places and often create traffic problem. The leftovers create unwanted trash and unclean atmosphere for the locality. In spite of such drawbacks, Hawkers have many positive impacts in safeguarding the neighborhoods and the city itself.
The proposal has initiated a research, an awareness campaign, meetings with the city authority and an experimental design, “Hawklet”. The research is locating problems, possibilities and collecting relevant examples from other cities. Showing importance, possibilities, necessities and requirements to the city authority and citizen so far have a positive development for the initiative. The idea to create a livable and affordable safe city which is also clean and green, is the core idea behind designing Hawklet.
What is a ‘Hawklet’? A Hawklet is a hawker’s outlet which is a green cart designed with specific requirements to keep the city clean. When cart has enough possibilities to make a storage for the products and trash, the surroundings will be clean. The cart will also have the facility to run with green energy if necessary in the evening. Two most important services that Hawklets will require is water and regular trash disposal which is challenging in Dhaka.
The team is talking to the street vendors currently and working on experimental implementation of Hawklets in a particular area to observe how it works.