The Publicness of Public-servant Spaces in Khulna

  • Sheikh Serajul Hakim Associate Professor, Architecture Discipline, Khulna University
  • Auditi Bridget Biswas Lecturer (part time), Architecture Discipline, Khulna University
Keywords: public space, publicness, class and post colonialism, planning, urban heritage


This paper assesses the present state of publicness of the public spaces around Khulna’s enclave-like residential zones of the public servant (bureaucratic administrator), and outlines a framework that explicates the making and persistence of this particular state of publicness. This assessment begins with an observation of this residential zone closely resembling an enclave – the exclusionary Civil Line of the ‘Colonial White Town’. Under the present democratic condition, the persistence of this discriminatory space where public access is limited. That raises the question of inequality and segregation. Although this research is qualitative and exploratory, an existing Star model has been used initially to assess the publicness of the aforesaid spaces. Later, with the help of both primary (drawings, photographs, survey findings) and secondary (literature, archival maps) materials, it attempts to explain the factors and strategies that have contributed to the making of this particular state of publicness. The findings reveal that the aforesaid space is ‘less public’ in nature, and this is mostly due to the working of three correlated forces namely colonial planning legacy, postcolonial planning culture and class interest.

Author Biography

Sheikh Serajul Hakim, Associate Professor, Architecture Discipline, Khulna University