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).

  • Streets of the people, by the people, for the people

    I had one of my most memorable “urban” experiences in Dhaka on Election Day. I roamed aimlessly around the city. The streets were filled with relaxed pedestrians. It was probably psychological, but the air felt fresh, even a bit aromatic! The usual cacophonous soundtrack of Dhaka streets was absent. There was no menacing truck to overrun me as I walked, no incessant honking to make me neurotic. Rickshaws appeared like the chariots of utopia. I saw carefree birds in city trees, chirping. It was an incredible feeling in the midst of our familiar congested and chaotic Dhaka.
  • Election manifestos, climate change and cities

    In their election manifestos political parties would appear prudent if they address cities as the frontier for fighting the adverse effects of climate change. In the era of global warming, smart climate-change strategists around the world view the city as both a villain and an opportunity. Because, as much as they contribute to economic growth, cities also produce
  • Dhaka's origin myth

    It is essential to understand the politics surrounding Dhaka's origin as a city. The prevailing mythology is that Dhaka is 400 years old.
  • Is housing for the urban poor a mere dream?

    One of the most iconic public housing projects of the 20th-century was built in St Louis, Missouri, in the early 1950s, during a time of post-war optimism and construction boom in America. The Pruitt-Igoe housing project consisted of 33-housing blocks, each 11-storey high, and was arranged across a 57-acre site in the poverty-stricken DeSoto-Carr neighbourhood. Upon completion, the project was seen as an answer to the urgent problem of housing the urban poor.
  • The ironic life of African migrants in Paris

    In Paris recently I noticed an extraordinary phenomenon unfolding around the Eiffel Tower during a casual afternoon stroll.
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