Liveability of coastal regional cities of Bangladesh

Background and Context

Is the liveability of a coastal city the same as for an in-land metropolitan city, such as Dhaka? With the aim to explore this question in greater detail, the concept of liveability has been explored in two regional coastal cities in South-West Bangladesh- Mongla and Noapara. Two small cities impacted by disasters and climate change that are currently experiencing an influx of migrants and are emerging as potential industrial hubs. Both cities have ports: Mongla has a seaport and an export-processing zone (EPZ), and Noapara has a land port with India and several established industrial parks. Both can be described as two cities that is on the verge of change from being a sleepy to a city that will become of significant national importance in Bangladesh.

The conceptual framing of Liveability came up from the study ‘Liveable Regional Cities in Bangladesh’ conducted in 2019 by the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD), Bangladesh; the Institute for Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), Durham University, UK; University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. It was funded by the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhood’s (SHLC)’s Capacity Development Acceleration Fund and Glasgow University.

The eight spheres of liveability in Mongla and Noapara had been documented in the form of a photo-story narration in a photobook. Photography was used as a research tool which served as an important tool to learn about the contextualized lives of the communities. Visual reading of liveability in the photobook will allow insights into the opinions, values, and aspirations of the increasing number of people who intentionally reside in smaller cities like Mongla and Noapara. Through these photobook we have the opportunity to make the everyday life as experienced by residents more concrete and legible and subsequently to offer possibilities for rethinking policies that govern the life of people in cities throughout the world.

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