Opinion

October 30, 2019
October 30, 2019

The democracy of public squares

I have long wondered why cities in Bangladesh don’t have vibrant, dedicated public places or squares, in the sense of Taksim Square in Istanbul, Trafalgar Square in London,

September 30, 2019
September 30, 2019

Why not a national footpath policy?

Population density in cities like Dhaka and Chattogram is daunting.

September 3, 2019
September 3, 2019

Will the metro rail solve Dhaka’s traffic apocalypse?

Hope is high that when Metro Rail Transit (MRT) finally arrives in Dhaka, the capital city’s legendary traffic congestion will ease off. Near Bijoy Sarani or in Mirpur or other places, where the...

July 16, 2019
July 16, 2019

Bolai, Avatar, and our environment

The other day I was going from Chattogram to my ancestral village in the Chandanish upazila, located about 40km southeast from the city centre. As soon as I crossed the Karnafuli River a common...

June 25, 2019
June 25, 2019

The calculus of heritage preservation

The clandestine demolition of Jahaj Bari in Old Dhaka on the night of Eid-ul-Fitr reveals the precarious state of historic preservation in Bangladesh.

May 28, 2019
May 28, 2019

Debunking the smart-city myth

I have been following the “smart city” conversation in Bangladesh for quite some time now. Last year I sat on a panel to discuss the topic during what was called the “smart-city week” in Dhaka. As...

May 14, 2019
May 14, 2019

The dark side of globalisation

The project of globalisation remains as contested as ever. In Globalization and Its Discontents (2001), Joseph Stiglitz criticised international monetary organisations like the World Bank and the...

April 17, 2019
April 17, 2019

The wrong kind of fire

Fire has been essential for human development. Without the domestication of fire, humans couldn't migrate to inhospitable regions of the world.

March 19, 2019
March 19, 2019

Dhaka's urban politics, Haussmann, and related thoughts

After the tragic Chawkbazar inferno in Old Dhaka, I have been thinking about what it would take to bring some urban sanity to a complex megacity like Dhaka.

February 21, 2019
February 21, 2019

The political algorithm of 21st February

Understanding the political setting of the Language Movement and 21st February requires an examination of how religion played very different roles before and after the 1947 Partition in East Bengal...