CFP – special issue – ‘The new megacity – for whom?’ Seminar at IUB in Dhaka, 18th November 2019

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The new megacity: for whom?
 Seminar @ Global Studies and Governance Department Independent University, Bangladesh – 18 November 2019

As megacities continue to mushroom and waves of migrants continue to look for opportunities there, they become increasingly hard to live in. Many megacities are a fulltime traffic nightmare, green spaces are rare, and water services are poor, brought in from far and wide but not reaching the many. City authorities try to remedy these challenges by drafting megaprojects promising to solve a complex urban conundrum in one fell swoop. Often these also promote gentrification and creating ‘green and blue’ spaces, as an instrument to promote  megacities as ‘liveable world-class city’. Steady economic performance, political ambition and donor willingness brings in funding for large projects. In Dhaka, drinking water supply problems are to be tackled with a mega ADB- supported pipeline project to effect a water supply turnaround; the Hatirjheel lake project is to tackle pollution and create a ‘Las Vegas’ vibe, and nationally there is the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100. Elsewhere, even more radical plans are hatched – Indonesia wants to displace its entire capital!

But what does all this urban engineering mean for people’s access to water and services, or for environmental and social sustainability? Don’t these megaprojects promote urban dispossession rather than integration? Is “Brave New Dhaka” a city for the few or for the many?  How about other megacities? In addition to sustainability, how transparent and accountable are these urban transformations? The SI draws (but can expand beyond) on the findings of the Urbanising Deltas of the World – Hydrosocial deltas: flows of water, flows of people  tudy – in collaboration with Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies and Flood Hazard Research Centre.

The seminar, “The new megacity: for whom?” is  organised to be held on 18 November 2019, co-organised with the Global Studies and Governance Department, Independent University, Bangladesh in Dhaka. We also invite
cases from other metropolises of the world tackling with megacity challenges. Comparative studies are welcome.

Suggested (but not exclusive) foci include:
   – Flows of people, flows of water: migration and environment
   – Urban water markets – institutions, equity and sustainability
   – 3D cities: are flyovers helping or hindering urban integration
   – Green and blue beautification projects: who benefits?
   – Secluded spaces/gated communities
   – Reconnecting the city with nature
   – Waterlogging, floodways and earthquake safety in megacities: can the city cope?
   – Land grab or a fair deal for urban development
   – Transparency and accountability of urban transformation
   – Urban climate adaptation and the Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100
   – Reconnecting the city with the delta

Please send your 150 word abstract and a one paragraph bio-note to
jeroen.warner@wur.nl and  hasanashraf@juniv.edu


Deadlines: abstract – 7 October 2019 & first full draft – 1 December 2019
Accepted participants will be notified by 30 October 2019 with further information.

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