Our sprawling cities are drawing more and more people from rural areas. And if projections are anything to go by, nearly 50 per cent of the country's total population will live in cities within the next 10/15 years. And that poses a major challenge to planners and decision makers.

In this supplement, we have tried to depict a picture of the prospects and problems of our cities. Obviously, Dhaka outshines all other urban centres due to its importance as the capital of the country. But other cities are also developing into populous urban centres, which attract people looking for job opportunities and a better life. The townward swirl of the rural populace does show that the gravitational pull of the cities is getting stronger and stronger.

But then the planners have to make sure that cities are not pressed beyond their capacity. We want them to be beautiful places to live in.

© thedailystar.net, 2006. All Rights Reserved