Smart City Week ends with a pledge to co-create smart cities in Bangladesh

Dec 5, 2017

The week long, ‘Smart City Week’ ended yesterday on 04 December with a pledge to make the cities smart for all class of people by building awareness around smart city ideas that focus on people’s needs.

Closing night marked the end of the Smart City Campaign with presentations by experts on urban growth in Bangladesh, an award ceremony for highlighting inspiring urban innovations and the launch of the ‘Smart City Innovation Excellence’ to encourage innovative minds in co-creating smart cities in the country.

Experts emphasized that smart citizens make smart cities; initiatives should focus on people’s needs and reflect Bangladeshi identity, culture, social bondage and cohesion. They also pointed out that smart leaders, policy and rule of law are necessary for making smart cities sustainable.

Kazi Khaled Ashraf, Director-General, Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements, through a video presentation, focused on how an extended transport network can make Dhaka livable and help reduce traffic.

Based on the online Smart City poll that ran during the campaign and expert consultation, Dr Akter Mahmud, on behalf of the organisers, highlighted 10 priorities with 2 indicators for each that can lay the groundwork for co-creating smart cities in Bangladesh. He welcomed feedback on the indicators. While he appreciated the ‘smart city’ concept, Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman noted that initiatives should be inclusive as well as ‘smart’.

On closing night, 17 smart concepts were awarded from among 100 innovative ideas showcased during the three-day long Smart City Innovation Hub, the campaign’s key event that ran from 29 November to 1 December at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Novo Theatre. The ‘UNDP Bengal Smart City Excellence Award’ announced at the event will be given out from next year for outstanding innovations in the fields of governance, planning, architecture, transport solutions and innovations in technology.

Eminent personalities like Mr Salahuddin Kashem Khan, Managing Director, A K Khan & Company Ltd.; Kamal Lohani; Professor Nazrul Islam, Chairman, Centre for Urban Studies (CUS), Dhaka; Ashekur Rahman, Urban Program Analyst, UNDP; Architect Mobassher Hossain, former President, Institute of Architects;  Dr. Sarwar Jahan, Professor, URP, BUET; Ms. Kyoko Yokosuka, Acting Country Director, UNDP Bangladesh and  Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator were present at the event at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre.

UNDP has been supporting the campaign through collaboration with Access to Information (A2I), Urban Development Directorate (UDD), Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) and other urban sector stakeholders.

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