Loughborough University
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Factors and issues related to children's play and their implications on play and recreation provision in Dhaka City

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posted on 2011-01-24, 09:43 authored by Afroza Ahmed
Play is a fundamental right and a vital component of the life of every child. It is an inevitable element of a child's overall development and has a direct impact on physical, mental and social wellbeing. Through the play process, a child transforms from childhood to a healthy adult with the required skills such as cognitive, motor, psychological, health, education, communication and creativity to be a future citizen of a nation. More than 2 million children live in Dhaka city, the capital of Bangladesh. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world but lacks children's play and recreation facilities. Due to land scarcity, outdoor recreational spaces such as parks and playgrounds are being encroached upon by different profitable land uses like housing, industries, commercial and utility services. As a consequence, open space for children's play shrunk significantly and resulted in one of the lowest ratios of open space to population in the world. As a result, the children of Dhaka city are deprived of outdoor play and recreation provision which affects their overall physical and mental development. This research is aimed at exploring the factors and issues from children's and adult's perspective and then recommend planning guidelines for children's play and recreation provision of Dhaka city. Both qualitative and quantitative data are collected from 846 children from the four socioeconomic brackets and their parents in Dhaka city. For qualitative data analysis, techniques of sorting, grouping, data-reduction etc. were used. Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) was used for analysing the data from the questionnaire survey of the outdoor play and recreation facilities users. The key research findings are: i. children's perceptions and needs for outdoor play and recreation provision of Dhaka city differ according to socio-economic background, age and gender; ii. The so-called play and recreation facilities provided by the concerned authority cater only for a fraction of the children of Dhaka city; iii. Play and recreation facilities provided by the concerned authority cater only a fraction of the children of Dhaka city; iv. There is a decreasing trend in the provision of areas of outdoor play and recreation facilities in Dhaka city; v. The accessibility of outdoor play and recreational facilities is not the only determining factor for the children of Dhaka city to enjoy outdoor facilities. Lack of security, poor maintenance and inadequate play facilities and accessories are the main reasons for not using playgrounds and parks by children in Dhaka city; vi. Play is not perceived as one of the priority needs for children in Dhaka city; and vii. planning for children's outdoor play and recreation facilities is related to child development, child rights, city planning and social development. Finally, the research suggests an institutional arrangement comprising professionals from child development, city planning and social development for the planning and implementation of the outdoor play provision, which can be used not only in Dhaka and other cities of Bangladesh but also in other Asian cities as well.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


Loughborough University

Rights holder

© Afroza Ahmed

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

EThOS Persistent ID



  • en


Muhammad Sohail Khan

Qualification name

  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral