Urbanisation is not taking place following a proper plan in the country, although it is increasing rapidly. As a result, the possibilities and opportunities of urbanisation are not being utilised totally, economists said at a seminar yesterday.
The capital's GDP growth has stalled due to overcrowding, triggering economic and social damage, they said, adding there is no alternative to efficient and productive urbanisation to get out of this situation.
World Bank economists Dr Farhat Shilpi and Dr Alexandro Malner presented the keynote at the seminar held at the conference room of the BIDS at Agargaon in the capital. The seminar was jointly organised by the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) and the World Bank.
According to the key note, the pace of urbanisation in the country has increased by 38% in 2020 which in 2050, will be about 60%. The city of Dhaka will face a major problem by that time as the extra population might stall the pace of urbanisation. In the last few decades, Dhaka-centric urbanisation has developed a lot. But, compared to Dhaka's urbanisation, nothing much has happened in other parts of the country.
The two main challenges in urbanisation are how to spread the city across the country and how to increase the efficiency and productivity of the city. In this case, there is a need to increase the capacity of the service providers as well as to improve market connectivity, transportation, housing and local government in other cities of the country.
Then people will feel comfortable living in those cities. The Padma Bridge will play a huge role in the development of Bangladesh. There will be drastic changes in the lives and livelihoods, especially in the districts across the river. However, the impact of climate change must be considered in the construction of such infrastructure, said the keynote.
The seminar, "Getting Urbanisation Right in Bangladesh", was moderated by BIDS Director General Dr Binayak Sen. World Bank Senior Economist Nora Dehle, BIDS Senior Research Fellow Mohammad Yunus, former finance minister Saiduzzaman, and urban planner Professor Nazrul Islam and Mohiuddin Alamgir addressed the seminar.