THE GRUDGING URBANIST | The Daily Star
  • Living with and on water in Bangladesh

    In the past twelve months or so, I have been very fortunate to be able to visit many corners of Bangladesh by road. I wanted to experience what seemed like a Bangladesh in transition, particularly how economic development was changing the country's geography.

  • How politics and architecture blended in Dhaka

    The American architect Louis Isadore Kahn's Parliament building in Dhaka is considered one of the architectural icons of the twentieth century. Intriguingly, Kahn was not the first choice for the project.

  • An architectural gem at the political heartland

    We know the 1960s in the then East Pakistan as a decade of political agitation. Bangalis fought for self-rule. Streets were filled with activists demanding political emancipation.

  • The city and its next generations

    It is easy to be stressed out quickly in Dhaka. Roads are insanely congested. Footpaths are far from walkable. The air is unbreathable and the city is often a “smellscape.” Life is not a piece of cake in Dhaka.

  • Want to understand the Partition of Bengal? Visit Curzon Hall

    On October 16, 1905, Dhaka became the capital of the newly-created province of East Bengal and Assam, in the wake of what is known as the Partition of Bengal (1905–1911).

  • Heartbreak at Sadarghat

    Last week I went to Sadarghat with my team to work on a documentary on Dhaka's urban story. We arrived at the launch terminal in the wee hours, just when launches arrive from the country's riverine south. The terminal was quite a sight.

  • Chattagram, an orphaned city

    I went to Chattagram to celebrate Eid with my family. It took me two hours and a half to reach home from the city's Shah Amanat International Airport.

  • Making sense of Bangladesh's World Cup obsession

    British newspaper, The Telegraph, recently reported on Bangladesh's quadrennial FIFA World Cup frenzy this way: “Rival supporters of Argentina's Lionel Messi and Brazil's Neymar fought with machetes in the town of Bandar. One man and his son were critically wounded in the incident, according to police reports.”

  • How do we save Dhaka streets from apocalypse?

    As the Ramadan market heats up, Dhaka streets are more infernal than ever! Many have asked what would happen to the city's notorious traffic congestion after the JICA-funded metro rail begins operation (Line-6; Uttara to Bangladesh Bank; 16 stops; 20.10 km; 60,000 people/hour). Would it improve Dhaka's road scenario, or be the same old same old?

  • Why Dhaka may disappear one day, like Mohenjo Daro

    This was Samayeen Cooper's maiden visit to the country of his grandparents, from his mother's side. He quickly glanced at his watch: 5:37 PM local time, December 14, 2044!

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