World Town Planning Day, also known as "World Urbanism Day," aims to encourage community planning to address diverse environmental and socio-economic factors involved in the development of a town. The 74th World Town Planning Day 2023 is being celebrated worldwide on November 08 with the theme 'Learn Globally, Apply Locally.'
According to the 2023 IMD Smart City Index, Singapore is ranked as the 7th smartest in the world, and topped among the smart cities in the Asian subcontinent.
Singapore has overcome diverse urban challenges through the utilization of the latest ICT technologies. The city is able to provide necessary urban amenities including water treatment, public housing, transportation, energy management, etc. Singapore's pathway of being a smart city offers great lessons for Dhaka.
Scenario of Dhaka and the Vow of Smart City
Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, is a mega city inhabited by 10.2 million people as of 2022. According to World Bank data approximately three to four lakhs people migrate to Dhaka from different regions of Bangladesh each year. A lion's share of these migrants are climate refugees. With above three percent population growth rate Dhaka has gained the title of fourth most populous city in the world.
The uncontrolled migration and unplanned urbanization are posing a threat to the existence of Dhaka city. As a result Dhaka is facing multifarious challenges such as air pollution, traffic jams, insufficient public amenities and services, inadequate public transport facilities, inadequate infrastructure, etc.
The government of Bangladesh have taken the initiative to build Dhaka as a Smart City.
The term smart city refers to a technologically advanced urban area that promises quality of life for residents by optimizing city functions, promoting economic growth, and utilizing various technologies.
Now, it is a burning question that how can Dhaka city assure quality life to its inhabitants by improving healthcare, public transportation, housing, urban amenities, and advanced payment systems which are the key components of a smart city?