Adnan Zillur Morshed

THE GRUDGING URBANIST

Adnan Zillur Morshed, PhD, is an architect, architectural historian, urbanist, and public intellectual. He is a professor of architecture and architectural history at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and executive director of the Centre for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism at BRAC University. Morshed received his Ph.D. and Master’s in architecture from MIT, and BArch from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, where he also taught. He was a 2018 TEDxFoggyBottom speaker at George Washington University. He is the author of multiple books; among them, Impossible Heights: Skyscrapers, Flight, and the Master Builder (University Minnesota Press, 2015), Oculus: A Decade of Insights into Bangladeshi Affairs (University Press Limited, 2012), DAC, Dhaka in 25 Buildings (Altrim Publishers, Barcelona, 2017), and River Rhapsody: A Museum of Rivers and Canals (BRAC University, 2018).

September 7, 2021
September 7, 2021

Could public consciousness of history be a measure of social progress?

For quite some time now, people have been discussing if there are more on-the-ground, inclusive ways to measure a country’s progress, rather than supra-quantitative metrics like GDP.

August 19, 2021
August 19, 2021

Chattogram desperately needs guardian angels

It is impossible these days to not notice Chattogram’s spectacular urban decline. Go around the port city and you will only experience a place plagued by anemia, chaos, a collective greed to...

May 18, 2021
May 18, 2021

The sociology of eco-grief: Saving Suhrawardy Udyan

Eight years ago, in May, a large crowd staged a sit-in at Gezi Park, next to Taksim Square, Istanbul’s bustling public plaza in the downtown of its European side.

May 9, 2021
May 9, 2021

Your land is my land: Environmental injustice in Bandarban

Land is the closest thing that we know. We cultivate it, build on it, transform it to meet our needs, commercialise it to maximise economic gain, and derive our identities from its widely varying...

April 6, 2021
April 6, 2021

How about experiential indicators of wellbeing?

That gross domestic product (GDP) is not a fully satisfying measure of a country’s progress is no longer news. The awareness of GDP’s inadequacies in revealing a nation’s state of development is...

February 9, 2021
February 9, 2021

Memories, cultural imaginations and Dhaka

How do cities like Dhaka in the throes of frenzied development deal with memories and literary depictions in the process of their transformations?

December 29, 2020
December 29, 2020

How the demolition of a train station changed America

At the heart of the ongoing debate on the potential demolition of TSC and Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka is an old philosophical dilemma—how to progress while retaining some loyalty to history,...

November 29, 2020
November 29, 2020

The impending wrecking ball for another Dhaka masterpiece

I do not know how to respond to this barrage of apocalyptic news from Dhaka.

November 1, 2020
November 1, 2020

SDGs, the tyranny of sameness, and a lesson for World Cities Day

Yesterday was World Cities Day (WCD). In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 31 as WCD to build global awareness of the challenges that cities around the world face.

October 31, 2020
October 31, 2020

SDGs, the tyranny of sameness, and a lesson for World Cities Day

The world’s urban future is full of challenges. But one of the greatest among them is a simple but profound one: the universalisation of urban problems and their generic solutions.