Dear Colleagues,

The United Nations Task Team on Habitat III, a task force of UN agencies and programmes working together towards the Conference (Habitat III), has prepared and released 22 Issue Papers under six broad areas related to housing and sustainable urban development. These are summary documents that address one or more research areas, highlight general findings, and identify research needs on topics.

From 1 July 2015, online Urban Dialogues on the Issue Paper's thematic areas will be launched on the Habitat III site while these can be downloaded now from the link ( ) or browsing Bangladesh Urban Forum's Website ( and Facebook page  (

Thanking you.

Bangladesh Urban Forum (BUF)
BUF Secretariat, Level 10, LGED Dhaka Office Bldg,
62 West Agargaon, Dhaka
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Among South Asian countries, Bangladesh has experienced the steepest increase in urbanization over the last 50 years. Between 2000 and 2030, the total population of Bangladesh is expected to grow from 129 to 206 million, with two thirds of this increase occurring in urban areas. Further, United Nations projections indicate that 50% or more of the total population will be classified as urban by the year 2045. By 2050, it is projected that the number of people living in cities will have tripled, while the rural population will have fallen by 30%.

Growth trends in Bangladesh are characterized by an uneven pattern of regional growth. Though all urban residents are exposed to hazards arising from rapid and poorly managed urbanization, urban poor suffer disproportionately from their impacts. They are vulnerable to a variety of health hazards, natural and man-made shocks, with limited access to public services or forms of social protection. Chaotic urban development and the accompanying unemployment, environmental degradation, lack of basic services, crime and the proliferation of slums represent major obstacles to achieving a higher quality of urban life in Bangladesh.

Prioritizing the issue evolved through urbanization, the Planning Commission and Bangladesh Urban Forum (BUF) Secretariat with support from UNDP organized a broad-based stakeholder’s consultation meeting to seek insights on the draft 7th FYP from key policy leaders, urbanization experts from Bangladesh, NGOs/CSOs and development partners towards building consensus, and develop action points to be included in urban policy initiatives through five year plan.

The draft plan was discussed in a consultation meeting on 16th May at BICC in presence of Dr Mashiur Rahman, Adviser to the Honourable Prime Minister on Economic Affairs as the Chief Guest. The meeting was also attended by Professor Nazrul Islam, Ms Pauline Tamesis, Country Director, UNDP, Mr Mohammad Shafiqul Azam, Secretary, Planning Divison, Ministry of Planning and Mr Mohammed Moinuddin Abdulah, Secretary, MoH&PW. The meeting was chaired by Professor Shamsul Alam, Member (Senior Secretary), GED of Planning Commission.

Observing Bangladesh’s urbanization in a balanced form because of all divisional cities and districts being themselves a city or town of reasonable size, the draft 7th Five Year Plan opts for four strategies to ensure Bangladesh’s future urbanization in a planned way that offers basic urban services to its urbanites and transforms cities and towns work for all. These being – urban governance strategies, Urban housing strategies, urban transportation strategies and strategies for reduction of urban poverty.

Eminent urban expert Professor Nazrul Islam in his opening remarks shared about the urban sector’s stake to the GDP that is higher than the agriculture as urban inhabitants contribute approximately 60% to the national GDP and it is the high time that a national policy on urbanization should be taken.

UNDP   Country Director Ms Pauline Tamesis suggested three steps for Bangladesh Future Urbanization  - formulating of a urban vision, drafting urban city plan and crafting policies that are designed for people.

Dr Mashiur Rahman felt the need of land use plan for all city and towns as the uncontrolled urbanization has a root to the country’s historical complex land management system. He emphasized on proper decentralization utilizing local resources.

The draft plan was discussed by the sectoral experts Dr. Hossain Zilllur Rahman, Executive Chairman, PPRC; Dr. Roxana Hafiz, Professor, URP, BUET; Advocate Azmatullah Khan, Adviser, Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB); Ar. Iqbal Habib, Joint Secretary, BAPA and Mr Naved Chowdhury, Advisor, DFID & Chair, BUF Urban Policy & Governance Cluster.

The experts found that the scale, complexity and challenges associated with urbanization in Bangladesh render it one of the most pressing development issues of our time. The challenges of urbanization are multi-dimensional and therefore provide opportunity for addressing many core human development challenges.
Underlining the need for innovative, interdisciplinary and cross-scale approaches to promoting inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities and towns, the speakers recommended for shaping a comprehensive urban strategy attained through collaboration and partnerships among government agencies, and all urban stakeholders, including, community groups, donor partners and international organizations.

Participating in the discussion, Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman suggested for drafting of the 7th FYP in a way that caters need of every city irrespective of size, proximity and other geographical preferences. He also emphasized on uninterrupted economic activities.

The sectoral experts and urban sector stakeholders during the discussions agreed that Bangladesh must seize the opportunities arising from urbanization. Well-managed growth and development not only contributes to the economic advancement of Bangladesh, but equally and crucially to poverty reduction and improvement in quality of life for all citizens across Bangladesh.

The event for Bangladesh’s future urbanization was participated by a number of high profile and relevant experts to contribute towards structuring a national consensus to ensure planned and sustainable urbanization taking place in future Bangaldesh.


Contact Information

For more information and media attendance, please contact: Kawser Ahmed, Press Officer , UNDP Bangladesh. Telephone # 01792991599

Dear Esteemed Colleagues,

Greetings from Bangladesh Urban Forum Secretariat !

BUF Secretariat is glad to share that according to the decision and directives of BUF Inter-ministerial Steering Committee, a 7 members’ management committee is formed as per decision of the 2nd BUF Inter-ministerial Steering Committee meeting held on 28th January 2015.

Please find attached the office order in this regard that details about the Management Committee members and their TOR.

BUF Secretariat takes the opportunity to congratulate you as the member of the Management Committee and hope that Bangladesh Urban Forum will go a long way in achieving its objectives in the coming days with all your support and contribution.

Thanking you,


Bangladesh Urban Forum Secretariat
Level 10, LGED Dhaka Office Bldg,
62 West Agargaon, Dhaka
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Attachment: pdf

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings from BASA.

This is for your kind information that Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement (BASA), WaterAid and Shakhipur Paurasava are jointly organizing a program for Inaugurating of Co-Composting plant on 11 April, 2015, Saturday at Shakhipur Paurasava,Tangail. Mr.Anupam Shahjahan Joy, Honorable Member of Parliament will kindly grace the occasion as chief guest.

You are cordially requested to attend the program .The detailed program schedule is attached herewith.

Thanks and Regards


A.K.M Shirajul Islam
Executive Director, BASA
Cluster Chair,
BUF Thematic Cluster on Human Resource Development

A. K. M. Shirajul Islam
Executive Director
Bangladesh Association for Social Advancement, (BASA)
House No # 113, Road No # 6,
New DOHS, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1206
Phone: +88029862464, Fax: 88029880957
Mobile: +8801711528281
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear Colleague,

Bangladesh Urban Forum Secretariat is regularly publishing BUF Newsletter as quarterly and current issue is scheduled to be released by the end of March 2015.  The Newsletter with contributions and collaboration from the BUF associates publishes relevant information and news on the urban issues of our all concerned.

Please send your contribution in the suitable form of write up, images etc. to help the BUF Secretariat accomplish the plan for the publication satisfactorily. Please find below the important dates for sending your contributions. Visit to download the previous issues of the newsletter and share us your comments.

  • Last Date: Sunday, 29 March, 2015
  • Format of Write Up: Composed in MS Word Document using SutonnyMJ Font (Size 14). Please send JPG files for any images used in the Word File.
  • Language: Bangla.
  • Tentative Date of Publication: 1st Week April 2015
  • Click the link to browse previous issues of BUF NEWSLETTER


Thanking you for your anticipated cooperation and please feel free to make any query.


Bangladesh Urban Forum Secretariat
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2015 Graduate Student Paper Competition,
Policy Workshop, and Publication
$1000 Grand Prize
Abstracts due: May 15, 2015

To encourage a new generation of urban policy makers and promote early career research, USAID, International Housing Coalition (IHC), World Bank, the Wilson Center, and Cities Alliance are co-sponsoring the sixth annual paper competition for graduate students, seeking abstracts on urban poverty in the developing world. Winning papers will be published and selected authors will be invited to present their work in a policy workshop to be held at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. in January, 2016. The grand prize winner will also receive $1000. Papers must be linked to one of the following sub-topics:

Metropolitan Approaches for the Urban Poor

Cities around the developing world are attracting migrants at unprecedented rates. Many of these cities are jurisdictionally fragmented, which results in complex spatial and institutional structures and poor service provision. In the context of the spatial and institutional fragmentation, the urban poor--particularly recent migrants--are often neglected, suffering disproportionally from dysfunctional inter-jurisdictional governance. Papers on this topic might consider for example: integrated regional and urban transport systems; coordination in land use planning, including the distribution of housing and employment across jurisdictions; metropolitan approaches to climate change; and, metropolitan-wide considerations in determining the location of and access to key infrastructure and services such as hospitals, clinics, schools and libraries. If the promise of urbanization as an engine for development is to be realized, how can cities work across jurisdictions to ensure opportunity and access for the poor?

Making Smart Cities Inclusive

Cities around the world are seeking technologies, institutional structures, and policies to optimize efficiency. The challenge in developing countries is to go beyond the efficiencies offered by “smart city” approaches to focus on systems that foster inclusion. How can technology and new institutional frameworks empower the poor to define and communicate their priorities, and hold governments accountable for the provision of services? How are progressive public policies that address the backlog of investments and service provision benefitting the poor? How can technology be used to advance innovative land use policies that help integrate slums into the urban fabric? How can technology be used to improve education and health outcomes of the urban poor? How can technology break barriers to integrate cities divided by income levels, race, ethnicity, and nationality? Papers will examine the relevance and applications of the smart city movement for the urban poor.

Innovation in Urban Water and Sanitation

Rapid urbanization has brought unprecedented challenges for ensuring reliable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Substantial inequities in urban water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services produce negative health, infrastructure, and economic outcomes for the urban poor and women in particular. At the same time, urbanization brings important opportunities for more efficient water management and greater provision of services. Papers on this topic might address new approaches to improve access, availability, affordability, and sustainability of water and sanitation in cities, drawing links to urban governance and planning. Papers that address innovative, entrepreneurial and locally-driven approaches that can be readily replicated and scaled up are particularly encouraged.

Cities Through a Gender Lens

Women and men experience cities differently due to their different roles, divisions of labor, resources, needs, constraints, and the opportunities they encounter in an urban environment. Male and female priorities are often different for basic services such as urban housing, water and sanitation, solid waste management, public transport, childcare, and education. Although urbanization is associated with greater access to employment opportunities, lower fertility levels and increased independence, women and girls are still subject to enduring gender roles that predominate in rural areas. Papers might cover topics such as: the opportunities and challenges the urban labor market presents for women; urbanization and gender-based violence; gender-sensitive considerations in urban design and infrastructure; gendered approaches to urban planning, services, and policymaking, or the impact of urbanization on men’s and women’s health.

Process and Timeline

♦ Eligibility

This call for papers is directed at PhD students and advanced Masters students. To be eligible, applicants should be currently enrolled in a degree program as of May 15, 2015. Papers can be co-authored, as long as each author is a graduate student. In this case, only one author will present at the policy workshop.

♦ Abstract Submissions

o Abstracts (max 500 words) and a brief CV should be submitted to the selection committee by May 15, 2015. Submissions should be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

o Abstracts should contain a title, paper description, author name and affiliation, and specify which of the sub-topics listed above the paper will most directly address.

♦ Criteria for Selection

o Abstracts should present a clear, compelling research question.

o Preference will be given to the presentation of original, field-based research that builds upon existing scholarship as opposed to desk or literature reviews.

o Paper proposals should be policy-based and solutions-oriented and should critically examine existing projects and/or propose new strategies for tackling issues related to urban poverty in the developing world.

o Abstracts should be clearly linked to one or more of the sub-topics outlined above.

♦ Request for Full Papers

o A panel composed of members of the sponsoring organizations will review submitted abstracts and request full papers from finalists.

o Applicants will be notified in mid-June whether they will be asked to write a full paper, which will be due by August 17, 2015.

o Completed papers should be a maximum of 20 pages in length including appendixes (double-spaced, Times New Roman 12pt font) and utilize the guidelines used by the Chicago Manual of Style.

♦ Publication

o Roughly eight of the full papers will be compiled in a book and published by the Woodrow Wilson Center.

o Publication of each selected paper is subject to review and will be contingent upon completion of suggested revisions by the authors, should they be requested by the selection committee.

♦ Policy Workshop:

o Three or four authors whose papers are selected for publication will be invited to Washington, DC in January 2016 to take part in a unique “policy workshop” that will bring together academics, policymakers and students for an interactive discussion of international urban development topics. The session will focus on bridging gaps between policy and academia, theory and practice. Workshop invitees will be provided with a travel stipend to help cover transportation and accommodation costs.

o At the workshop, students will be paired with an experienced urban development expert who will serve as a discussant for their paper.


Papers from a variety of perspectives are appropriate, including (but not limited to) urban planning, economics, political science, geography, public policy, law, sociology, environment, anthropology, housing policy, governance, emergency services, and public health.

For more information, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on last year’s competition, please visit:


Allison Garland
Program Associate
Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Office | 202.691.4190
Mobile | 703.717.1736

Dear BUF ECD Cluster Colleagues,

This is to inform you that the proposed half day workshop on 11 March in Planning Commission has been deferred due to unavoidable circumstance and fresh date will be confirmed soon.

I take this opportunity to request you to kindly send your presentation which is due today the 9 March. We would appreciate your understanding to go through an expert review process of the concept and the presentations before it is presented in the Planning Commission with  stakeholders. We have received only two presentations (1) Strategic Framework on Urban Resilience / UNDP on behalf of BUF ECD Cluster and (5) mainstreaming urban DRR / OXFAM.

  1. Strategic Framework on building Urban Resilience  to be presented by UNDP on behalf of the ECD Cluster
  2. Building Resilience through Urban Environmental Management to be presented by Professor ATM Nurul Amin, North South University
  3. Strategic Development Plan: Case of Mymensingh City to be presented by the Urban Development Directorate
  4. Urban Planning for Resilience to be presented by Planner Khandakar Ansar Hossain
  5. Mainstreaming Urban Disaster Risk Reduction by OXFAM Bangladesh

Please note that in the last meeting convened by the BUF Secretariat for review of Session plan, we are advised to reduce technical professionals and accommodate Mayors from the vulnerable zone as the panel discussants.

Many thanks and warm regards,

M. Aminul Islam
Senior Adviser
Sustainable Development
UNDP Bangladesh
Phone: (+880-2) 815 0088 extn. 1817
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Dear all,

We are pleased to announce the launch of two data challenges accompanying the release of a new World Bank data set on urban expansion in East Asia. This data set was used to conduct a study on patterns in urban growth across the East Asia region. The report describing the findings of this study, East Asia's Changing Urban Landscape: Measuring a Decade of Urban Growth, was launched last month. We are publicly releasing the spatial data used for this study, and hope that these data challenges, one for research proposals and the other for data visualizations, will encourage their use for a range of applications.

The rapid urbanization of East Asia is one of the most transformative global phenomena of our generation, with far-reaching economic, political, and environmental implications. As part of its study on urban expansion in East Asia, the World Bank has mapped urbanization across the region using satellite imagery.

The World Bank's unique database is a complete map of built-up areas across the East Asia region (stretching from Mongolia to the Pacific Islands) for the years 2000 and 2010, combined with a population distribution map. The dataset, which includes data on all 869 urban areas in the region with populations over 100,000, is a treasure trove of changing patterns of urbanization in recent years. The data also includes maps for five cities with more detailed land use classifications, using ~10m resolution satellite imagery.

We are getting in touch to invite you to participate, and to spread the word to researchers, students, and practitioners who may be interested in entering or making use of the data.

Please send any questions you may have to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


East Asia's Changing Urban Landscape study team, World Bank Group

Dear Cluster members,

A meeting of the BUF Thematic Cluster "Children, Women, Youth and Person with disability" meeting will be held at 02:30 PM on 16 Feb at BUF Secretariat. I urge all of you to attend a meeting, scheduled as below:

Date: 16 Feb.’ 2015

Time: 02:30 – 04:30 PM

Venue: BUF Secretariat, Agargaon, Dhaka

Agenda: Finalization of programme (2 hours event) for 2nd BUF (will be happened, tentatively on 1st week of April, 2015)

To facilitate the discussion, I have attached the draft programme outlets (first draft and incomplete) for your review and preparation for discussion on 16 Feb.

See you all on time.

Thank you.


Md. Shofiqul Alam
WASH Specialist
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Section
UNICEF Bangladesh
BSL Office Complex, 1 Minto Road, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh
Tel: (880-2) 55668088 ext. 7172
Mobile: 01762 172217
Fax: (880-2) 9335641-2
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Attached Document: Session Plan Suggested Template

A meeting of the Urban Planning, Infrastructure & Transport Cluster of Bangladesh Urban Forum (BUF) will be held on 17 February, Tuesday at 03.00 pm at BIP Secretariat.

As a responsible member of the cluster, you are cordially requested to attend the meeting. If you have any query, please feel free to let us know. The agenda of the meeting and other necessary documents is attached herewith for your kind perusal.

Thanks & regards,


Planner Prof. Golam Rahman, PhD
Urban Planning, Infrastructure & Transport Cluster
Bangladesh Urban Forum (BUF)
Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP)


Agenda of the Meeting:

1.  Reconciliation with other thematic cluster for the Second Urban Forum
2.  Discussion on Urban & Regional Planning Act 2014
3.  Miscellaneous