Urbanising delta: what lessons Dhaka offers to face challenges

Authors: Md. Sadaf Abdullah, Sara Nowreen, Rashed Uz Zzaman, Sakib Hasnat, Susmita Majumder Satu, Md. Enayet Chowdhury,


Cities built on deltaic regions are always prone to environmental risks like aggravated flooding, wetland reduction, compromised water quality, continuing water scarcity, and tainted air and these have been remarkable as the challenges while urbanizing deltas. On top of that, rapid urbanization adds more to the deterioration of ecosystem functions. Drawing insights from Bangladesh's capital Dhaka lying in the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna basin, this study basically appraises the common concerns of deltaic megapolises through a systematic literature review. The current literature has been brought up by analysing the status, factors, and impacts of the challenges and management by authorities. In addition, it is further updated with some urban experts' views, secondary records on groundwater levels, and remote sensing imageries. This paper also concludes with recommended guidelines from the reviews for more practical deltaic urbanization, especially when there is no turning back for urban transferability to a new region of the delta. Particularly, success demands (1) specifying current situation in quantifiable terms (e.g., numeric values, percentages, scores, indices), (2) practical but adaptive multi-objective plans/policies with a set of assessable targets, and (3) timely robust evaluation for tracking data for specific, measurable, and meaningful outcomes.

Publication Details

Published On: 15 December 2021
DOI: 10.33002/jpg010201
Publication: Journal of Policy & Governance, 01(02) (December 2021), 1-21