Traps and gaps of urban greening for Dhaka

The lack of proper planning of green spaces has turned Dhaka into a gloomy and grey city. If we get a satellite image of Dhaka, we can hardly find green areas. The drastic reduction of green spaces in Dhaka city is the result of the lack of proper policy, low political motivation, and poor management. When the city planners extended Dhaka in a vertical and horizontal way, unfortunately, they did not consider keeping green areas. The people of the city and the city planners have already filled up most of the wetland and lakes, destroyed trees, and surrounding forests. The decreasing rate of wetland from 1988 to 2016 was 71.84 per cent. As a result, the microclimate of the city has experienced warming.

Air pollution is very high in Dhaka. According to Yale and Columbia universities’ Environmental Performance Index, Bangladesh was ranked 179th in 2018 and just after two years the country becomes 162 out of 180 countries in 2018 the world. Dhaka city has a scarcity of greenery to soothe eyes and soul. Due to heavy metal contamination and other pollutant particles, air quality is worst in the bottom layers of air. This is affecting the respiratory system of the city dwellers, especially the children, women, and old people. Recently it was reported that a Bangladeshi asthmatic man was given the right to stay in France because his life would be endangered by the air quality in Bangladesh. Air pollution is related to five of the top ten causes of death in Bangladesh – lung cancer (13%), lower respiratory infections (7%), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (7%), ischemic heart disease (6%), and stroke (5%). According to World Health Organization 2016 estimates, air pollution kills 195,000 Bangladeshis each year.

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