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Rescooped by Al Picozzi from Geography Education!

Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world

A five-part, multimedia series on the coming dystopia that is urbanization.


This is a great introduction to the explosion of the slums within megacities.  This video as a part of the article is especially useful.   Click on the title to read the accompanying article.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

It is amazing to see a city grow like this and the issues it can create.  There is no city planning involved and by need these "slums" spring up all over the sprawling landscape.  People are moving into Dhaka from the rural areas because these areas have suffered from one natural disaster or another and because the poverty there is immense.  Even though there is poverty in these slums, right next to the "richer" side of the city, the life is still better an there is hope that it will be better here than in the rural areas. The government knows that this is happening and that is has been happening for decades, but has still done nothing in that time ti make the situation better.  In fact becasue of this lack of action, for decades, the problems have been made exponentially worse and will continue this way as more and more people move into the city.  Lack of accountability of the government to its people is one main casue of this.  It is so inefficient that each offical blames the other or states that they are not the one to blame and it is some other offical's problem.  How could this have been avoided?  When the problem first arose, coudl have it been avoided if action was taken right away?  What if there was some urban planning?  Is this a result of only recently, 1971, becoming an independant country and not having the experience in city planning?  Could the blame be put on the British, the former colonial rulers of this entire area?  Could the division of this area by the British also be the cause?  There are many questions that could be asked.  One thing I do know, a sprawl like this is just not sustainable unless the infrastructure is done.  It can lead to disease, think crowed, Middle Age, Westen European cities overrun with the bubonic plague, lead to civil strife, riots, they already riot with water shortages, and outright revolts.  Another question, Can we learn from this pattern?  As the video suggests this is a global pattern as more and more people move into these Megacities.  Should we all start planning now for a bigger New York, Los Angeles, Mexico City etc.?  Well if we don't want to repeat history, we should start planning now and work on the infrastructure now..that leads to my last question...who pays for it????

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, November 20, 2013 11:43 AM

The city of Dhaka has experienced a massivie boom in population. Both the rich and the poor are flowing into this city causing many problems that all complain the government is ignoring instead of fixing. The city is very inefficient, with traffic so bad that it is costing the city millions of dollars. There are frequent water shortages resulting in protests in the streets. There is much infrastructure throughout the city as well. But it is also represents a sense of hope to the people that are coming in and moving into the slums, that with the better jobs and money they will be able to get they can better provide for themselves or their family.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 6, 2014 11:23 PM

Dhaka is the fastest growing city in the world, as rich and poor people move to the city everyday. So many poor people are moving here due to the fact there is no other place worth living in Bangladesh. The city is facing many problems, such as lack of traffic signals, minimal clean drinking water for residents and horrible housing for many people. However, some feel the city’s slums offer the best chance for an improved life.   

Sarah Cannon's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:48 AM

There is a lot of poverty and pollution in Dhaka. The demands for energy and water are high in Dhaka as well. I personally don't see how these people and migrants can live in such a polluted and dirty place and the reason why I can't imagine living in such a place is because I never have. I'm lucky enough to not experience poverty and I greatly appreciate  my life and home. Hopefully things improve in Dhaka and places like Dhaka. Hopefully there will be less pollution and poverty in the future any where in the world.

Rescooped by Al Picozzi from Geography Education!

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup | Als Return to Education |
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.


This skyscraper that was once a symbol of wealth, in an incredible paradigm shift, has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

An example of people doing what they need to do to live.  Some people look to the US and its system of captialism that say that is the cause of our issues, homelessness which is one of the issues.  But the Chevez, who has now died, government, which has critizied the US for not helping its poor, has the same issues, in a more government controlled economy.  All types of governements have their issues and it is not limited to just the US, China, Russia and so on.  Alot of people claimed Chevez to be an englighted leader, staning up to the US and providing for his people, however the reality is for him, and for all societies, not everything is perfect and  every country in every region has issues that need to be handeled.

Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:34 PM

The video we watched of the squatters living in an unfinished skyscraper was unlike anything I've ever seen before. In a country with such high population rates and a housing shortage, people have gotten creative and made homes in this 45 story building where they share what would have been office spaces and bathrooms.  Over 2,500 people have moved into the dilapidated skyscraper and made a home out of it for their families. They have rigged electricity that the government does not provide for them and built small stores on almost every floor.  The people have not been evicted because the government of Venezuela knows of the housing shortages, yet does not fix it.  

I feel ashamed that a country with so many oil resources has such high rates of poverty and no one is fixing it.  It shows the corruption in the government through an extreme although innovative example.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:46 AM

The problems in Venezuela with housing and the lack of response to the problem by the government has led people to become squatters.  The using of the abandoned buildings was a good idea by the original squatters.  The vacant buildings can house many of the countries it is a shame that the government did not think of this solution to the housing problem and vacant building first, if they had, they could have made sure they were safer for the residence.  The idea of a vertical city springing up in this building is also an interesting one.  Not only are squatters living in these buildings but creating businesses and other services for the residence.

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:02 PM

In life, I constantly find myself comparing situations with what I read and what I know. Imagine this skyscraper is the Prudential in Boston. How could something meant to be so great fall to its death (and to peoples literal deaths)? One day there is a massive financial building occupied with bankers and lavishness. The next day there is a skyscraper in the form of a house. Housing shortages are happening everywhere and Venezuela is being hit hard in this situation. Imagine visiting this country and asking where someone lives? "Oh, I live in the Tower of David, which used to mean a whole lot more."