It is interesting how Zipjet, a UK-based firm, measured a city's collective stressfulness. From known indicators like density and traffic congestion to unlikely factors such as sunshine hours and light pollution, Zipjet researchers took all these into consideration.
Therefore, it took us by little surprise that Dhaka, topped the list of the most stressful Asian cities. The areas in which Dhaka performed badly include density, traffic congestion, perception of security, family purchase power, and physical and mental health.
Dhaka being the centre of all economic activity undergoes a regular influx of economic and environmental migrants from all over the country, making it the most densely populated city in the world. And all the while its expansion projects have barely improved, if not stagnated.
With a small number of public transports, traffic rules rarely adhered to, and messy infrastructure projects lingering forever, our traffic congestion has garnered worldwide notoriety. Severe air and water pollution coupled with extremely poor drainage system and civic facilities have made the city suffocating. Residents' perception of security is also expectedly not reassuring. A public health structure needed to address the physical and mental health concerns of millions is almost non-existent.
All of these are amongst Dhaka's longstanding problems—and ones that are of our own making and within our capacity to resolve. We must expand the city and redistribute government establishments across the country. There must also be a comprehensive effort to tackle Dhaka's persistent problems to make this city a bit more liveable.