Kazi Khaleed Ashraf

Kazi Khaleed Ashraf is an architect and urbanist, and director-general of Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements.

February 19, 2021
February 19, 2021

Future cities: A short guide to a Bengali urbanism

When al-Mansur laid the foundation of Baghdad in 762 on the banks of the Tigris, he imagined an ideal city in the shape of a round plan.

December 14, 2020
December 14, 2020

Imagining a Dhaka for 2035

No one doubts the magnitude of complexity that shrouds Dhaka, this city of 16 million poised between being the worst liveable and an economic colossus.

October 28, 2020
October 28, 2020

Naked cities

During a run for essentials, I ran into a graffiti on a wall at a Philadelphia exit ramp: “Civilisation is pandemic.” On any other day, I would not even think twice about such a street-smart philosophical pronouncement.

February 16, 2020
February 16, 2020

We Are the City

I dream of a city where turning the corner of an alley, in front of a shop of curios and old books, I decide what I want to do for the rest of my life.

April 3, 2019
April 3, 2019

A Fire Next Door

Before the amber of the last one turn to ashes and forgotten memories, a new flame leaps up in another neighbourhood of the city, revealing, once again, cracks in the façade of our tilottoma.

February 10, 2019
February 10, 2019

An Urbanism for Dhaka

A city is not mere buildings, streets and spaces; it is a theatre of social actions. And it is in that theatre, according to the American urbanist Lewis Mumford, that “man's more purposive activities…work out, through conflicting cooperative

January 12, 2019
January 12, 2019

Yes, thinking about mud

Mud is the bane of the Bengali middle-class. Yet, mud is all over the place. Mud—that gooey, gluey, brown muck—lies waiting in the dry dust and with a little sprinkling of water rises up in rebellion, and grabs the pumps, heels and sandals of the middle-class and makes them skid off balance.

January 1, 2019
January 1, 2019

The city is a letter that arrives late

I have known for a long time that one does not go anywhere. It is the cities of the countries that come or do not come to you. Cities are fateful letters. They only arrive lost. They only arrive posthumously.”

November 10, 2018
November 10, 2018

Reimagining the west bank of Dhaka

Despite the usual gloomy narratives, there are opportunities to transform Dhaka into a modern but ecologically attuned metropolis. The transformation can be carried out with our own resources, and our own imagination.

October 29, 2018
October 29, 2018

Public space makes a city

Public spaces constitute the life-stream of a city, and these are in short supply in Dhaka.