Challenge of planning the Coastal Cities of Bangladesh: A Case for Chalna.

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Abstract Summary
The delta land Bangladesh has a unique coastline where numerous rivers meet the Bay of Bengal, creates a complex net of tidal river estuaries, forming the base for world’s largest mangrove forest the Sundarbans. A large part of coastline, the south western coastal part of Bangladesh is covered by the Sundarbans, which acts as a buffer between the sea and the human habitats including arable lands. Due to the high and low tides, certain degree of salinity, flow of alluvium and land form, the flora and fauna as well as the ways of life and livelihoods of the native people living near the villages and towns of the Sundarbans are very different from other parts of Bangladesh. Chalna is such kind of small town located at the confluence of Rupsha and Chunkuri rivers, only 9 km north of the Sundarbans, and a well know river port. The existence of Chalna Town and the lives and livelihoods of its inhabitants is at risk due to various natural and man-made reasons. Due to global warming and sea level rising the land mass is vulnerable to flooding. Due to natural disasters like cyclones and tidal surges the lives and properties of the people are at the risk of destruction. Erratic behavior of rainfall and draught, intrusion of salinity etc., are changing the usual pattern of agriculture and fishing, affecting the livelihoods of the people here. The forest resources of the Sundarbans, which is a source of income and businesses of the people here are depleting due to cyclones, salinity and climate change. The eco system of this mangrove forest is also threatened by recent policies of the Government and initiatives of private sectors of establishing high risk industrial establishments like thermal power plant, liquid petroleum gas stations etc., around this town. The potential of running large number of vessels through the rivers and canals of Sundarbans might have negative impacts of the flora and fauna living there. This paper will explore the possibility of adapting various strategies to deal with the above mentioned risks. Such as; options to adapt with water level rising and flooding by site planning, material selection and by using local wisdom; protect lives and properties from cyclones by architectural/ structural design measures and by adopting disaster management strategies; to maintain livelihood with the climate change by adopting resilient crops; The alternative siting of industries to protect the Sundarbans may also be examined. Alternate sea and river routes could also help to save the eco system of the Sundarbans. The roles of the Government, International Authorities, private sectors, NGOs, and general people in reduction of risks will also be examined. The power of mass media, use of smart technologies, strengths of networking may also be useful to achieve the goal of planning a coastal town like Chalna in adaptive or resilient way.
Abstract ID :
ISO451
Submission Type
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Urban Development Specialist
,
City Region Development Programme, LGED, Bangladesh.

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