Dhaka’s sustenance depends on a helix of involvement of academia, international organisations, civil society and cross country cooperation, said an assistant professor of the Poznań University of Economics and Business in Poland.
This is because between 1950 and 2015, Dhaka saw the highest average growth rate of 6 percent in South Asia and it is expected to reach 9 percent in the next 15 years with the population increasing to 28 million people, said the teacher, Katarzyna Anna Nowrat.
Nowrat was addressing the launching of a book “The Rise of Megacities: Challenges, Opportunities and Unique Characteristics” which she co-edited with Jerzy Kleer and which was published from London by World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd.
The launching, alongside that of another, was organised by the Department of Architecture of BRAC University (BRACU) at its Mohakhali campus auditorium on 31 May 2018.
The first book takes a multidisciplinary and an interdisciplinary approach in analysing the growth of megacities, characterised by having over 10 million inhabitants. It examines major challenges, policies, cohesion and governance of states and opportunities created for the public good.
One of the book’s articles, “Dhaka: the perils and promises of an ancient megacity”, has been written by Professor Adnan Z Morshed, PhD, chairperson of the department.
Addressing the event, he said a Warsaw symposium inspired compilation of the book and the fact that the percentage of the global population in urban areas increased from 3 percent in the 1800s to 54 percent at present.
Megacities are functioning as city states, exemplified by the fact that Dhaka and Chittagong produce 50 percent of Bangladesh’s GDP, said Professor Morshed.
He then went on to introduce the other book, “River Rhapsody: A Museum of Rivers and Canals” which he and another teacher of the department, Abul Fazal Mahmudun Nobi, authored.
Launched by Professor ATM Nurul Amin, chairperson of the Department of Economics and Social Sciences, the book was published by the Centre for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism, which itself was created last year and which would be formally launched on 26 June 2018.
Containing some 25 classical Bangla and English poems, the book portrays the importance of rivers and canal in Bangladesh and how in the name of progress these are being encroached upon or filled up to create land for urban expansion and gentrification.
It brings together the work of third-year students towards building public awareness through the design of a museum of rivers and canals along the Karnaphuli river in Chittagong city by combining research, aesthetics and a deep sense of environmental ethics.
Vice Chancellor Professor Syed Saad Andaleeb PhD spoke on the occasion as the chief guest.