To ensure planned development, the participation of planners is absolutely imperative, said Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md Tajul Islam.
Speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of an international conference on urban and regional planning, he said, "Everything should be done in a planned way to ensure sustainable development. Developing the cities and villages without a proper plan will make it difficult to meet future challenges."
The week-long conference has begun with an emphasis on sustainable development concepts and inclusive planning issues in future urban, regional and rural planning.
The conference, titled "International Conference on Urban and Regional Planning", was inaugurated at a function organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on Saturday.
Mentioning that the government is considering to appoint one planner in each municipality, Tajul Islam said, "The living standard of the people has improved along with the economic development of the country. Naturally, new challenges will come now. There is no substitute for planning to ensure more civic services using less land. For this purpose, besides the municipality, the government will take steps to appoint planners where necessary."
Observing that the role of urban planners is very important to make a planned country, the minister said, "It is the duty of the planners to decide where residential and commercial areas, schools and colleges, hospitals, playgrounds and recreation centres would be located."
Noting that unplanned infrastructure is being built everywhere in villages and towns, he urged the urban planners and architects to take responsibility for this.
Tajul Islam said after reviewing the reports of the municipalities where chief executive officers have been appointed, it has been found that the revenue of those increased several times and unprecedented success has been achieved in various sectors.
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Md Atiqul Islam said, "About 49,000 people live in every square kilometre of Dhaka metropolis. Open public spaces, especially playgrounds and walkways, are essential for maintaining the physical and mental health of city dwellers during the ongoing pandemic."
The mayor urged the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) officials to take effective steps so that the developer fully implements the Rajuk approved design.
"Although Rajuk has designed playgrounds and walkways for the use of the people, in reality it does not exist, because Rajuk itself allotted those to different people in different ways," the mayor said.
The other sessions of the conference will be held virtually from 31 October to 7 November.
The German Agency for International Cooperation and GIZ Bangladesh are co-sponsoring the conference that began with the theme "Planning for Inclusiveness and Sustainability in the post-pandemic era".
Speaking at the inaugural function, the speakers said the articles to be presented during various sessions of the conference would play a significant role in analysing the latest trends in Bangladesh's urbanisation and development planning.