Describing urbanisation as the driving force of a country’s development, Prof Anthony Venables of Oxford University has said that a city’s development policy must reflect the country’s overall socio-economic context.
“Urbanisation is the driving force of a country’s development. Therefore, policy taken for a city’s development should reflect that of the country. Infrastructure and businesses will help attract more private investments. Also, people’s participation in infrastructural development and government services is important,” Prof Venables observed.
He was addressing a special lecture on urbanisation, organised by the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) in collaboration with the World Bank in the Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury auditorium at Dhaka University on Tuesday.
Mentioning that a country’s urban strategy is its development strategy, Prof Venables said it is important to view cities as a vital part of the country’s economic as the cities are the drivers of economic growth and development.
Delivering a presentation, he also showed the urbanisation challenges the world will likely face in the coming days.
The professor of economics underscored the need for paying adequate attention to four areas –urban productivity, urban costs, urban equilibrium and policy implications – to ensure a balance between high productivity and costs.
He also put forward some suggestions to effectively address the urbanisation challenges.
The lecture session was followed by an open discussion participated by Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman, chairman of Power and Participation Research Centre; Prof Mustafizur Rahman, research fellow at Centre for Policy Dialogue; Prof Dr Nazma Begum, chairman of economics department at Dhaka University (DU); and Prof Dr Bazlul Haque Khondker, chairman of SANEM and a professor of economics at DU.
Hossain Zillur Rahman in his speech said: “…In order to improve the living standard in Dhaka, there must be a vision or a mission of urbanisation.”
Nazma Begum emphasised collaborative work among policymakers for bringing a qualitative change to the urban areas.
Among others, DU Social Science Faculty Dean Dr AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan was present in the event with SANEM Executive Director Dr Selim Raihan in the chair