1. Determining Detailed Planning Zone (DPZ) wise Desirable Density for the Detailed Area Plan (DAP)
Dhaka city has already reached the highest densification level compared to its facilities available in the city. Example: employment opportunity, education and health facilities, infrastructure and other utility services. This is high time to control density in the core area of the city (Detailed Area Plan Final Report: Volume-I, 2009). On the Other hand, every year more than a million rural people migrate to the urban centres of the country. Nearly half of these rural migrants move to Dhaka Metropolitan Area (Islam et. al., 2007).
The RAJUK has been trying to address this grave problem of over densification by preparing building construction regulation for the first time in 1996 as an intention to development control which has gone under a lot of review and modification. The FAR value provided for various sizes of plots indicates to some extent a range of density which has proved to be ineffective in terms of public service facilities and community facilities already provided or likely to be provided in any area. Moreover, residential density or population density has spatial variation over any geographic space which should be in conformity with the service facilities or community facilities that can be provide as per space standard regarding any particular locality. An indirect and overall measure of residential density for Dhaka City has failed to demonstrate any effective development control or strategic approach, on the contrary creating ever increasing pressure on the authorities responsible for providing public service facilities in Dhaka City. That is why this project intends to measure the desirable density for all the DPZs as designated in the DAP area. Currently, Professor Dr. Sarwar Jahan is involved as a team leader in the project and along with him Mr. Anindya Kishore Debnath is also working in the project. The project is funded by the RAJUK (The Capital Development Authority).
The Ministry of Education, with the assistance of the World Bank, has undertaken a Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project (HEQEP). The project aims at improving the quality of teaching-learning and research capabilities of the tertiary education institutions through encouraging both innovation and accountability and by enhancing the technical and institutional capacity of the higher education sector. The Department of Urban & Regional Planning, BUET, is one of the institutions involved in this project. The project is granted by the University Grant Commission (UGC), Bangladesh. The department is under the sub-project “Modernization of Data Analysis and Simulation Laboratory of Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET)”. Through this project, a modern and advanced simulation laboratory will be developed in the department which will be well equipped and furnished with advanced computer systems and sophisticated software. The project will facilitate international training program for the faculty members to increase their technical skill. The resource persons of this project are Dr. Ishrat Islam as Sub-project manager, Dr. Mohammad Shakil Akther as Alternate Sub-project manager, Dr. Afsana Haque and Farzana Khatun as Research Associates.
3. SANDEE Funded Project
Department has undertaken a research project titled “Climate change, Submergence and Rice Yield: Evidence from Coastal Barisal, Bangladesh” which is funded by South Asian Network for Development and Environmental Economics (SANDEE). The resource persons of this project are Dr. Afsana Haque, Assistant Professor, DURP, BUET and Dr. Sarwar Jahan, Professor, DURP, BUET.
The study investigates the effects of submergence due to heavy rainfall and river over flow on rice production in the coastal Barisal region of Bangladesh. The study uses plot level data to compare rice yields of cultivars in high and low submergence prone areas and to analyze variation in yield when high-yielding varieties (HYVs) versus local seeds are used. Results suggest that rice yields are, on average, some 10% lower in ‘high submergence areas’ relative to ‘low submergence areas’. Both depth of submergence and duration have a negative effect on yield, with local varieties of rice seemingly better adapted to submergence. The widely grown Aman variety of rice faced an average of nine days of submergence in 2010, with 31% plots under 1-3 meters of water for 3-7 days. Aman yield is regressed on a number of variables including submergence factors and results show that depth has significant negative effect than duration of submergence on Aman production. The researcher forecast that an additional 13,564 hectares or Aman area in Barisal is likely to be inundated for 3-7 days in 2050 due to sea level rise and increased storm surge events. Correspondingly, given current levels of technology, researchers expect a production loss of 10,856 tons of Aman in the future. The study recommends the introduction of submergence tolerant rice cultivars and low-cost water control technologies as adaptation options against climate change.
4. CCSC Project
Under the project “Institutional Strengthening of Climate Change Study Cell at BUET for Knowledge Generation and Human Resource Development” funded by the Climate Change Trust Fund, Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh department has carried out the research component titled ‘Impact of Climate Change in Bangladesh: A Multi-Sector Regional Analysis’. The resource persons of this project are Dr. Sarwar Jahan, Professor and Dr. Afsana Haque, Assistant Professor.
This study attempts to assess the impact of sixteen disaster events/extreme climatic events on the national and regional economy of Bangladesh in terms of scetoral output, income and employment. It uses national Input-Output table for Bangladesh economy; data on income, employment, per capita GDP and damage data for flood, cyclone, drought and sea level rise. All data are collected from secondary sources. The effects are estimated by Input-Output model and analyzed at national and regional (i.e. six divisions of Bangladesh namely Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal and Sylhet) level. We find that agriculture and industry-two important key sectors both regionally and nationally, are vulnerable towards extreme climatic events. Industry, construction, trade and transport sector also face loss in terms of output, income and employment. Overall, agriculture sector faces maximum loss of output, income and employment. A high loss in income is probable for Barisal due to extreme events. Loss of income is also very much likely for Rajshahi and Sylhet division. Results also show that Sylhet, Rajshahi and Barisal divisions will face major employment loss in agriculture sector due to effect of climate change scenarios. We find that investment in infrastructural development can help to cope with flood and drought in northern regions but, it is very difficult to recover from damages due to cyclone and sea level rise in southern coastal zone. Hence, need for mainstreaming climate change with the development process cannot be denied anymore. Special emphasis should be laid on adaptation measures as climate change is an unavoidable phenomenon.