Khulna mixed commercial area along KDA Avenue. Credit: Irfan Shakil, Khulna University

This article was originally published by SAGE publications in ‘Environment and Urbanization ASIA’. Please visit the link below to view and download the full article.


Despite numerous complex urban challenges, Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is rapidly growing in terms of both population and extent. This profile captures that unplanned and spontaneous urbanization of Dhaka, which resulted in haphazard spatial expansion and transformation. Its unstable urban primacy is the result of high concentration of administrative activities, jobs and services in this city. Results of unsustainable growth are reflected in the socio-spatial divisions and high-density urban living. The current urban growth has created a strain on housing, urban services, health and education services and facilities, and they, in turn, are severely damaging the sustainability of the natural and built environment. The city requires policies for decentralisation of activities rather than pro-growth planning. An integrated national and local policy agenda and an active city government are crucial for tackling the multidimensional crisis of Dhaka.

Roy, S., Sowgat, T., & Mondal, J. (2019). City Profile: Dhaka, Bangladesh. Environment and Urbanization ASIA