Smart City Week begins in Dhaka

Nov 29, 2017

Smart City Week kicked off in Dhaka on Wednesday, 29 November at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre to bring innovative  solutions integrating citizens' participation, technology, infrastructure and public policy for co-creating smart cities in Bangladesh.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Access to Information (a2i) at the Prime Minister's Office, along with other urban stakeholders jointly organized the weeklong event, that brought together policy makers, city leaders, planners, authorities, communities, students and others.

Addressing the inaugural session of the event, as the special guest, Dr. Salina Hayat Ivy, Mayor, Narayanganj City Corporation said, "Bangladesh is striving to establish Digital Bangladesh, and all the cities have to convert to smart cities. Technology alone can't make our cities smart, unless we don't act as responsible citizens." She further added, "the growing population and transportation in cities are the major challenges to build smart cities."

At the discussion, Sudipto Mukerjee, Country Director, UNDP, H M Ahidul Islam, Secretary General, Municipal Association of Bangladesh (MAB)  & Mayor Kotalipara Municipality, Professor Dr. Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Vice-Chancellor, University of Asia Pacific and Charlotta Schlyter, Ambassador, Embassy of Sweden spoke, which was chaired by Kabir Bin Anwar, Director General (Administration), Prime Minister’s Office & Project Director of a2i Programmme.

A three-day Smart City Innovation Hub was also introduced, during the launching session, which will connect city leaders, professional experts, young innovators and anyone who has a stake in our cities to present innovative ideas, models, and concepts that offer smart solutions to Bangladeshi urban challenges. There will also be Hackathon, Interactive sessions, Photography Exhibition and other activities during this seven day event.

Bangladesh is fast-approaching its urban future; today's urban population of 55 million will double to over 100 million by 2050. This poses serious challenges for basic services and worsening living conditions and also  can impact how well Bangladesh achieves the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. Smart City Week is designed to come up with solutions and a set of recommendations to address the challenges on the closing day on 05 December.

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