How important is low cost housing for a mega city like Dhaka?
It is important to have a diverse mix of housing in the city. Obviously it is important that there is good quality affordable housing for people. But you want the full mix, a full range of housing. We want to build housing that is formal sector housing for low income people in proper buildings, serviced with utilities, electricity and water.
How should city authorities handle the issue of urban slums?
As the city develops, as it grows, it mustn’t be allowed to develop in a messy slum-like way. High quality affordable housing needs to be built for low income households.
How can we best protect water bodies and green spaces inside urban areas?
As development takes place it is very important that it is planned carefully in advance. The city needs to have a clear vision of what it wants to achieve and set aside some land for roads, parks for communities and for housing and business use. So it’s all about having that plan and having the ability to make sure that the plan is followed.
Can the natural environment be protected even as we pursue rapid urbanisation in Dhaka city?
It is really important that you do that. As the land gets developed, you need to set the priorities. Some areas are particularly environmentally sensitive and should be kept as wetlands or park-lands. Just think that through carefully and plan it and prioritise some areas for some sort of use and other areas for other sorts of use. You just need to think it through, have a plan and make sure that it is followed.
What will the utility facilities (water, gas, power), drainage and sewerage system of the future look like?
As the development takes place, these utilities are put in at the earlier stages as new areas are being developed. All these services need to be put in a good timely manner.