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Dhaka towards a New Urban Agenda

Dhaka, 24 October 2016 — The Secretary of the Environment and Urbanization of the 20th Executive Council of the Institute of Architects Bangladesh, a contributor to the Daily Star on urban issues, and an architect and faculty member at Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology, Sujaul Islam Khan, shares his impressions of the New Urban Agenda and contemplates the development predictions of Dhaka. See more.

Dhaka’s traffic nightmare

Dhaka, 21 September 2016 — Owing to rapid and unsustainable urbanization in Dhaka city, existing roads and transportation system is no longer adequate to endure the city’s population and growing need lower commute time. The traffic congestion in Dhaka city is estimated to cause an economic loss worth about 2 billion US dollars and rising. The big idea to combat this ascending issue is a 2.5 billion US dollar metro project aimed at controlling traffic congestion and providing efficient transport for city dwellers on the busiest route of the city. See more.

Improving labor practices in the shrimp sector in Bangladesh

Dhaka, 7 July 2016 — The industry of shrimp cultivation, including processing, freezing, and exporting, is a major sector of the fisheries of Bangladesh. This country's exporting of shrimp contributes 3.78% in GDP, and the industry employs 60,000 people, who in turn support well over 3.5 million dependents. Interestingly, as high as 80 percent of the workers are female. Although the cultivation is done in regions surrounded with water (bodies/coastal regions), a major part of compilation, processing, and packaging for export is done in Dhaka. Similar to poor but improving working conditions in the garment sector, the working environment for the shrimp industry labor force has significant room for improvement. See more.

Dhaka City: baby steps towards a smart city

Dhaka, 25 May 2016 — Developing countries of the Global South are now aiming to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) into urban development. Dhaka is taking baby steps towards the "smart cities" approach to urban development by installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras across the city. The goal is to ensure safety and attempt at preventing crime on the streets. See more.

Advocating for the rights of pedestrians and a better environment

Dhaka, 21 April 2016 — Sustainable transportation has been in the books for many policy-makers in developing countries but a further advanced step is reducing the pressure of vehicles on the roads by improving conditions for pedestrians. Work for Better Bangladesh Trust (WBB) has initiated much research on this topic that has helped convince relevant stakeholders and policymakers to not only pay heed to this idea, but to make it happen. See more.

Bangladesh’s transgender community seeks integration

Dhaka, 4 March 2016 — Lighthouse aims to provide HIV prevention services and foster more openness in the community for a hidden and marginalized population of Dhaka city – men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people (hijra). Even though it is a challenge to track these groups because the stigma attached keeps them distant from the society, this initiative has managed to reach a great number of people and has great potential for further success. See more.

How Bangladesh is doing away with open defecation

Dhaka, 22 February 2016 — Community-led Total Sanitation uses participatory processes to involve the community in understanding the effects of open defecation on the environment and each other through sessions by a facilitator, and has managed to almost absolutely eradicate open defecation in Bangladesh in 15 years. This has successfully turned away from traditional top-down approaches and involved the community to build a better and healthier environment for themselves. See more.

Building the resiliency of the urban poor

Dhaka, 12 January 2016 — Building Resilience of Urban Poor (BRUP) works on disaster preparedness and responsiveness as well as prevention from structural breakdowns through better building codes, all to better cope with rapid urbanization and the potentially dark shadows that loom over it. See more.

The need for clean cookstoves in Dhaka

Dhaka, 15 December 2015 — Bangladesh is highly prone to climate change, mainly due to its geographical location and a population of 150 million. The effects of climate change have already started to have a negative impact on the economic and developmental sector of the country. The government has committed to reversing this trend. One effort is the "Bondhu Chula," a project being implemented in Dhaka, especially the slum areas, to reduce levels of carbon dioxide emission as well as to decrease fuel consumption in a bid to bring down greenhouse gases levels. See more.

Dhaka’s new transit hub could cut commuting times in half

Dhaka, 11 November 2015 — Dhaka is densely populated with an extremely populated city center, making transport in the city challenging. To combat this, the government has designed the Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development project. In collaboration the Japan International Cooperation Agency, the new system is expected to move over 60,000 commuters per hour. Many struggle for housing at the city center but at the same time, cannot afford it. This project helps connect the outer city population to the city hub without having to fight the expense of living there. See more.