THE GRUDGING URBANIST | Page 2 | The Daily Star
  • Dhaka's origin myth

    It is essential to understand the politics surrounding Dhaka's origin as a city. The prevailing mythology is that Dhaka is 400 years old.

  • Is housing for the urban poor a mere dream?

    One of the most iconic public housing projects of the 20th-century was built in St Louis, Missouri, in the early 1950s, during a time of post-war optimism and construction boom in America. The Pruitt-Igoe housing project consisted of 33-housing blocks, each 11-storey high, and was arranged across a 57-acre site in the poverty-stricken DeSoto-Carr neighbourhood. Upon completion, the project was seen as an answer to the urgent problem of housing the urban poor.

  • The ironic life of African migrants in Paris

    In Paris recently I noticed an extraordinary phenomenon unfolding around the Eiffel Tower during a casual afternoon stroll.

  • Living Small is Beautiful and Necessary

    Last year I relocated to Dhaka and was desperately looking for a place to stay, close to where I would be teaching: BRAC University at Mohakhali. I didn't need a large apartment.

  • A Secret History of 1971

    Early this year I went to Washington's vaunted art museum, the National Gallery of Art. I didn't want to miss a much-acclaimed exhibition, Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting.

  • Living with and on water in Bangladesh

    In the past twelve months or so, I have been very fortunate to be able to visit many corners of Bangladesh by road. I wanted to experience what seemed like a Bangladesh in transition, particularly how economic development was changing the country's geography.

  • National parliament

    How politics and architecture blended in Dhaka

    The American architect Louis Isadore Kahn's Parliament building in Dhaka is considered one of the architectural icons of the twentieth century. Intriguingly, Kahn was not the first choice for the project.

  • An architectural gem at the political heartland

    We know the 1960s in the then East Pakistan as a decade of political agitation. Bangalis fought for self-rule. Streets were filled with activists demanding political emancipation.

  • The city and its next generations

    It is easy to be stressed out quickly in Dhaka. Roads are insanely congested. Footpaths are far from walkable. The air is unbreathable and the city is often a “smellscape.” Life is not a piece of cake in Dhaka.

  • Want to understand the Partition of Bengal? Visit Curzon Hall

    On October 16, 1905, Dhaka became the capital of the newly-created province of East Bengal and Assam, in the wake of what is known as the Partition of Bengal (1905–1911).

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