Since Bangladesh gained independence in 1971, the capital city of Dhaka has seen unprecedented population growth and industrialization, swelling to over 18 million inhabitants as of 2017 and emerging as one of the world’s leading garment manufacturers. In light of this rapid urbanization, Dhaka faces many challenges, including uneven infrastructure development, fractured governance and poverty.
As part of Agenda’s Megacities series, the book addresses the complexities of Dhaka’s industrialization, examining how the city’s population has grown as Bangladesh’s economy shifts from agriculture to manufacturing, as well as in response to the city’s increasing concentration of educational institutions and healthcare facilities. Adnan Morshed highlights the link between Dhaka’s urban expansion and powerful corporations such as Wal-Mart, which seek to maximize profits by outsourcing the manufacturing of their goods. From a cultural perspective, the book also breaks down the concepts of “formal” and “informal” urbanization and considers the interplay of gender, entrepreneurialism and class.
Adnan Morshed is Associate Professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the Catholic University of America, Washington DC. He has also been a visiting professor in the Department of Architecture at BRAC University, Dhaka.