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The struggle for urban livelihoods and the quest for a functional city – reconciling informal and statutory planning institutions in Dhaka, Bangladesh (1st Phase)

Duration: 11/2006 - 11/2008

Client: DFG (German Research Foundation)

Researchers: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Baumgart, Dr. Johannes Flacke, Dipl.-Ing. (Arch) Alonso Ayala, MSc, Dipl.-Ing. Kirsten Hackenbroch

Co-operational partner: Prof. Dr. Volker Kreibich


This project is part of the DFG-research programme “Megacities-Megachallenge - Informal Dynamics of Global Change” (coordinated by Prof. Dr. Frauke Kraas, University of Cologne). Main goal of the research is to work out theoretical and exemplary approaches, capable of explaining the informal processes and structures, characterising megacities. The chosen examples are the mega-urban regions of Dhaka in Bangladesh and of the pearl-river-province in China such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Hong-Kong.
Strengthening the interface between formal urban planning and informal instruments at local grassroots-level is an important aim of the project. Therefore it analyses the development of informal settlements, in order for setting up scenarios for the settlements’ future development. This analysis comprises a mixture of scientific (GIS, remote sensing) and socio-scientific/planning methods (mental maps, space syntax, interviews), focusing on physical (buildings, land-use, infrastructure, topography) as well as social structures (neighbourhood relationships, the capability of self-sustaining).
The results of modelling the informal growth inform scenarios of urban development. They also inform the development of appropriate participatory planning and steering instruments for sustainable development in megacities.

Contact: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Sabine Baumgart, Dipl.-Ing. Kirsten Hackenbroch