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As part of the government's vision 2041, a master plan has been jointly developed by the Urban Development Directorate, BRAC’s urban development programme, and Gaibandha municipality to transform Gaibandha town into a model city.

To mark World Cities Day, which has been observed on 31 October since 2014, the master plan was unveiled at a round table discussion on 'Financing Inclusive Urban Planning and Development', and an exhibition at the BRAC Centre in the capital on Wednesday, read a press release.

Gaibandha, a municipality with a history spanning over a century, is vulnerable to climate-induced disasters. Previously lacking structured planning, the municipality failed to adequately represent the needs of citizens across all segments.

To position Gaibandha as a smart city and a role model, aligning with the government's vision 2041, an efficient collaboration was established between the Urban Development Directorate, BRAC, and Gaibandha municipality.

The secretary of the housing and public works ministry, Kazi Wasi Uddin, was present as the chief guest at the event, while the director of the Urban Development Directorate, Khurshid Zabin Hossain Taufique, was present as the special guest. The event was chaired by Asif Saleh, executive director of BRAC.

The secretary said, “The government is engaged in constructing planned cities throughout the country, with rural areas striving to offer urban amenities. We have taken initiatives to facilitate the development of planned cities across the country, encouraging planning even when someone in a village wishes to construct a house.”

He added, “The Gaibandha plan stands as an exemplary model. Let's take BRAC as a trailblazer. We will also involve other stakeholders in this endeavour. Through our collective efforts, the country will make substantial progress.”

Director of the Urban Development Directorate, Khushid Zabin Hossain Taufique said, “This year's World Cities Day celebration holds significant meaning. We have experience in government-level planning, but in the case of Gaibandha, it was accomplished through a coordinated effort between the government and NGOs.”

The executive director of BRAC, Asif Saleh said, "The trend that we see in Gaibandha where the population has moved from 3,000 to and now almost 200,000 is a country wide trend. We all need to fundamentally reorient our development thinking around urbanisation as people are moving to the cities for climate adaptation and aspirational reasons. Gaibandha urban plan is one step towards that. But the real success will come when this plan gets executed and seeing the success of this, other cities also adapt a more planned approach.”

The event began with welcoming remarks from Imamul Azam Shahi, programme head of BRAC’s Urban Development Programme, emphasising the rapid global shift in urbanisation.

‘Gaibandha Paurashava Master Plan’ was presented by BRAC programme manager Saif Iqbal and the project consultant Kawsar Uddin.


Quelle/Source: Prothom Alo, 03.11.2023

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