Rejuvenating Dhaka city
We welcome the moves by both north and south city corporations in revitalising the open public spaces like parks by undertaking extensive plantation of trees and flower plants. It will go a long way to reverse decades of unplanned urbanisation that has practically destroyed the character of Dhaka city and turned it into a concrete jungle. Modern city planning dictates that for a city to be considered liveable, it must have at least 25 percent greenery (sadly, our city boasts a puny 5 percent). The city corporations are also planning to help city residents turn their rooftops into green roofs with the aid of soil, pots and fertiliser and offering a 5 percent tax rebate to building owners so that they may voluntarily take part in the campaign to reverse years of neglecting the environment.
Policies can be adopted and tax breaks offered, but without people's participation in the programme, the city corporations may achieve only so much. Many of the open spaces have not only been neglected but have been illegally occupied. These need to be freed up before restoration work can commence. Going green is an essential part of good city planning and contributes significantly to the mental and physical health of city residents. The rooftop greenery plan has the potential to reduce heat in buildings significantly that will reduce electricity bills for consumers by reducing workload for air-conditioners. Public awareness campaigns need to be launched so that people know what is at stake here and the benefits of going green are not lost on city residents.