- Trends and Patterns of Urbanization in Bangladesh   click here to open paper content111 kb
by    Rouf, Abdur & Jahan, Sarwar & null, null | arouf@hum.buet.edu   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
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Trends and Patterns of Urbanization in Bangladesh

*M. A. Rouf and **Sarwar Jahan
Bangladesh is still a relatively low urbanized country compared to the other Asian countries. However, there has been a phenomenal increase in the level of urbanization and urban growth in Bangladesh in the decades of 70's and 80's. This paper presents the results of an in-depth study of the trends and patterns of urbanization and the urban centers of Bangladesh from various perspectives. The levels of urbanization and urban growth were analyzed form spatial and temporal points of view. Spatial variations in urbanization had been carried out on the basis of the administrative units of twenty regions (former districts) and six divisions while temporal variations had been performed on the basis of various census years. During the British colonial rule i.e., up to 1947 level of urbanization was low. From 1961 the pace of urbanization got momentum and still continuing. In 1974 the country experienced the highest ever 'annual average urban growth rate' which was 9.04. Thereafter, level of urbanization is increasing but at a decreasing rate. On the other hand, the number of urban centers increased remarkably over the time period. In 1974 total number of urban centers were 108 which increased to 492 in 1981. The urban centers were examined in different ways. The rank-size rule was applied to them to see how they fit the rule. Then the urban centers were examined from two viewpoints. In the first place we tested all the urban centers to determine 'how urban the urban centers are'; and in the second place we carried out another test on 64 districts to measure 'how consistent the districts are' regarding their level of urbanization. 'How urban the urban centers are' was tested on the basis of the following criteria -- total population of at least 5,000; density of population not less than 1,000 per sq. km. and literacy rate of not less than 50 per cent. Out of 522 urban centers in the country only 85 centers satisfied the stated criteria, which is only 16.28% of the total urban centers. This result reveals that a large number of urban centers are not full-fledged in the country. In the consistency test, we compared the level of urbanization of the districts with several aspects e.g., 'Percentage of Urban Land' (PUL), 'Density of Urban Population' (DUP) per square kilometer, 'Share of National Urban Population' (SNUP) and 'Share of National Urban Land ' (NSUL), of the respective districts. From the test it was observed that Dhaka is the only district which was perfectly consistent in both the census years of 1981 and 1991. No other district was found perfectly consistent in any of the census year but several districts were found moderately consistent.This paper is a part of my MURP(Master of Urban and Regional Planning) Thesis. I would like to propose this paper for the ''Marketplace Session''.

*Assistant Professor, Dept. of Humanities;**Professor, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, Dhaka,Bangladesh.
This study analyses the urban centres in Bangladesh from different perspectives. Rank-size rule was applied to the urban centres to know how they fit the rule then all the urban centres were examined to determine how urban the urban centres are. Lastly, consistency test was carried out on 64 districts to measure how consistent the districts are.
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