Urban development and livelihoods of the poor in Dhaka

2018-02-12T15:08:20Z (GMT) by Nasrin Khandoker Jonathan Rouse
Urban services development can result in many improvements to the lives of city dwellers, but benefits are not always realised by everyone equally.This paper is based on field-based research undertaken in Bangladesh designed to understand the socio-economic impact of the Dhaka Urban Transport Project (DUTP) on the poor. Research focused on two components of the project: the exclusion of non-motorised vehicles from parts of Mirpur Road; and the construction of a flyover over the busy Mohakhali Junction. These initiatives have significantly impacted many groups including cycle-rickshaw drivers, hawkers, shopkeepers and road users. This paper draws heavily on qualitative data collected from (mostly poor) stakeholders. It shows how damaging some aspects of urban development can be, as well as the clear benefits for others. In the light of research findings the authors consider what could have been done to avoid, mitigate or compensate for adverse impact on the poor. The paper identifies the need for ensuring livelihoods are understood unprotected in urban development, and ends with recommendations for urban development planners, policy-makers and practitioners.