Adnan Zillur Morshed | The Daily Star
  • Adnan Zillur Morshed

    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).

  • Why not a national footpath policy?

    Population density in cities like Dhaka and Chattogram is daunting.
  • Bolai, Avatar, and our environment

    The other day I was going from Chattogram to my ancestral village in the Chandanish upazila, located about 40km southeast from the city centre. As soon as I crossed the Karnafuli River a common scene along the road began to haunt me. Felled trees were stacked up on both sides of the road, to be processed locally or transported to lumber mills on the outskirts of cities. The continuity of the spectacle revealed the enormity of scale in tree cutting. It felt as if a full-scale war on nature—a kind of “ecocide”—was going on.
  • The calculus of heritage preservation

    The clandestine demolition of Jahaj Bari in Old Dhaka on the night of Eid-ul-Fitr reveals the precarious state of historic preservation in Bangladesh.
  • Debunking the smart-city myth

    I have been following the “smart city” conversation in Bangladesh for quite some time now. Last year I sat on a panel to discuss the topic during what was called the “smart-city week” in Dhaka. As Bangladesh urbanises rapidly, as mid-sized cities increasingly become its new urban frontier, the mayors of small towns across the country seem drawn to the idea of smart city. They frequently talk about how they are eager to transform their towns into smart cities. I myself spoke with a few mayors who sounded anxious to bring “smartness” to their towns.
  • The dark side of globalisation

    The project of globalisation remains as contested as ever. In Globalization and Its Discontents (2001), Joseph Stiglitz criticised international monetary organisations like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for advancing ideologically driven, market-based development mantras around the globe, often at the expense of poorer nations.
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