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Copenhagen Consensus Center

How to improve Dhaka's public services for future growth

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Waste management investments would return 6 takas of social good for every taka spent. The latest academic research highlights the smartest ways to cope with challenges of rapid urbanization.

Bangladesh has experienced remarkable economic growth in recent years. At the same time, Dhaka has not only become one of the most densely populated cities in the world—it is now also one of the largest unplanned urban centers.

More than a third of the city's population of 18 million is designated as poor, mostly confined to slum areas of the metropolitan footprint. The United Nations projects that by 2050, an additional 20 million people will live in Dhaka, driving population density even higher.

Such rapid and unplanned urbanization presents enormous challenges. Regular garbage collection occurs for only half of city waste. The river systems in the metro areas have become so polluted that they threaten both human and animal health. And a lack of proper drainage leads to routine flooding that disrupts transportation and economic activity.

Read more in Bjorn Lomborg’s article published by The Daily Star.