Categories of Spontaneous Transformation

  • Tareef Hayat KhanEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Geography book series (BRIEFSGEOGRAPHY)


Urban setup in confused sprawl in Dhaka city is dense. Obviously, there are plenty of building regulations and bylaws to control their growth. Yet, a high level of versatility in the combination of different architectural elements can be noticed that is a resultant of site forces, bylaws, availability of local materials or technics, and different incidents of spontaneous transformation. Together they give the impression of an unconscious, yet powerful vocabulary of a particular urban residential form, especially common in the context of the rapidly growing cities in developing countries. This chapter searched for a prototype of building form in the self-built houses in confused sprawls in Dhaka city, and consequently tried to identify the existence of any categories of spontaneous transformation in those houses. The write-up started with empirical observation, and then was gradually consolidated by field studies stretched over many years of inhabitation in these neighborhoods by the author.


Building regulations Bylaws Spontaneous transformation Dhaka city 


  1. Carmon, N. (2002). User-controlled housing: Desirability and feasibility. European Planning Studies, 10, 285–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Habraken, N. J. (1998). The structure of the ordinary: Form and control in the built environment. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Hillier, B., & Hanson, J. (1984). The social logic of space. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Onder, D. E. (2002). A new housing group for sub-residential area in Samarkand: A morphological comparison. Cities, 19, 327–339.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Tipple, A. G. (2000). Extending themselves: User-initiated transformations of government-built housing in developing countries. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Turner, J. F. (1976). Housing by people: Towards autonomy in building environments. London: Marion Boyars.Google Scholar
  7. Wong, W. S. (2003). The effects of building regulations control on the design of private residential buildings. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Department of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureUniversiti Teknologi MalaysiaSkudaiMalaysia

Personalised recommendations