Pro-Poorness of Planning Policies in Bangladesh: The Case of Kulna City

Tanjil Sowgat, Ya Ping Wang, Christopher McWilliams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The numbers of urban poor are increasing in the cities of Bangladesh.
Formal urban planning approaches derived from experience in the global
North have largely failed to tackle the consequent poverty challenges in
the global South. This study provides new policy directions for pro-poor
planning in Bangladesh through a case study of Khulna city. The study
analyses secondary data on urban poverty in the city and interviews
representatives of the urban poor, politicians, city administrators,
academics, and planning professionals to gain a deeper and more
nuanced understanding about the pro-poorness of current planning
policies. The Khulna case reveals a continued poverty crisis in Bangladeshi
cities, manifested by the limited access to income opportunities for the
poor, lack of access to decent housing and urban services for the poor
and spatial exclusion of the poverty-stricken areas in cities. Existing
planning policies in the city fail to tackle poverty issues. Thus, to be propoor,
planning policies should limit the over-emphasis on economic
growth, and explicitly focus upon addressing the needs of the poor rather
than over-concentrating on citywide demands. At the same time,
planning practice should emphasize the needs of the poor and recognize
the contribution of the informal economic and housing sectors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Planning Studies
Issue number2
Early online date26 Aug 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Aug 2016


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