Cultural and environmental transition and transformation of two south Asian cities: Dhaka and Kolkata

Authors: S M Shihab Nur*, Auburn University, Chandana Mitra, Auburn University
Topics: Asia, Urban Geography, Land Use and Land Cover Change
Keywords: South asia, Kolkata, Dhaka, India, Bangladesh, Land use, urban heat island, Urban flooding
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: 8216, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


South Asian cities are among the fastest growing megacities of the world. At present, 6 cities of South Asia are regarded as mega cities for having a population of over 10 million and the prediction is the numbers will grow in the next 20 years or so. Two megacities, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Kolkata, India situated across borders with same history and language, have experienced the brunt of major political decisions which have molded and transformed the cities, culturally, demographically and environmentally over the past century. In this study we will qualitatively and quantitatively compare Dhaka and Kolkata in three time frames - the ‘partition of Bengal’ in 1905; the ‘independence of Indian subcontinent’ in 1947; and the ‘liberation of Bangladesh’ in 1971. These political events have changed the demography and culture of the two cities in the 20th century dramatically. They have had profound influence on the form and shape of the two cities. Some urban environmental issues like temperature rise, urban heat island, environmental pollution, urban flooding, traffic congestion and lack of green and open spaces have also transformed along with shape and form changes of the cities. Geospatial and statistical techniques will be used to highlight the ramifications of political and cultural changes on Dhaka and Kolkata megacities.

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