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Dhaka city: the past and the present.

Written By: Julie_Huang
06/12/2013 15:17 06/12/2013 15:16

Just last week, Barrister Nazir Ahmed has posted an awesome article about the huge potential of Bangladesh, you can see the article hereHe is writing about the strategic position that Bangladesh has and how the old city that has attracted many investor in the past.

I become wondering about why Dhaka as capital city of Bangladesh has to be located in 23°42′0″N 90°22′30″E  ? I mean, there is always other place nearby, considering how many flood and natural disaster Dhaka has, maybe it is not located at the best location.

A unique perspective was offered by Carolyn Steel on her talks in TED, about how a city was built and shaped. She believes the answer is FOOD. All cities struggle with need to feed their residence, and easy access to food become one of main surviving aspect. People are start building their city around the place where the food is coming (read: market).  Grew up in London, Steel gives an example how the city was shaped by food that coming from different direction and end up in the rear alley of London in the past.

Adapting this idea to Bangladesh, first let´s take a look at the history of Dhaka. In the past, first Bangladesh settlement was found in south eastern areas where it is believed has offered natural protection from flood, ties, and storm. Dhaka is one of it, it is the oldest cities in Bangladesh dated to 12th Century.

There are two likely reasons of the settlement in Dhaka. First, around the delta has a fertile land, and it brought people to settle down. And second reason was its geographical and topographical advantages. Until 16th century, the Dhaka was a small settlement on a high and flat land surrounded by swamp land (flood affected). Situated on higher ground in low lying region and the water rousted of the county give a natural protection and it is might also a convincing factor for the Mughals (Bangladesh ruler in the past) to establish the city as the capital. Later on, in 1757 British East India Company took over control of Dhaka, where there start to build their business and has considered Dhaka as a regional trading center and market for South Asia.

Dhaka as a center of regional trading, start to change when the British East India Company moved the business to India. But still Dhaka has strategic locations that meet buyers and seller from different region. The city has growth even to the swampy area that once used to protect the city from outside enemy. According to United Nation World Urbanization, it is estimated that by 2015, Dhaka will have the highest growth rate. (look picture below)

Although. the number of the poor living in Bangladesh has a swooping number because the 300.000 to 400.000 migrants that come to Dhaka each year!

A suggestion offered to tackle this problem is reforming the city´s governance by creating a decentralized city government. Which is totally make sense.

We are now living in the era where it is not necessary anymore to live near by the big city to get food. With the internet growth, living in small city can be the same with living in big city. Entertainment is accessible at any time. Information is available with a single click, it even can be also delivered to your mailbox.

To find a place to live is not hard anymore as many companies provide their properties listing online. Finding a job can be done online as well, is the biggest job online portal across the country.  If you really need something in the city, you could just take public transportation that available across the city or buying a car new or used with budget price can also be done with vehicle online listing like or you can buy almost everything in online market Bangladesh like

Living in a big city offers a unique experience with its own challenges, but in the end having a good quality life is far more important than just a tittle living in a big city. 

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Bangladesh Dhaka urbanization online market bangladesh job online bangladesh history 


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