The Global Liveability Index ranked 173 cities and Bangladesh's capital became 166, with 39.2 points.
The index ranks the cities based on more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
In 2021, Dhaka ranked fourth least liveable among 140 cities in the world. It ranked third-worst in 2019 and second-worst in the 2018 index. No report was published in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Vienna of Austria has been ranked the most liveable city in the world with 99.1 points, while Copenhagen of Denmark and Zurich of Switzerland ranked second and third, respectively, with 98 and 96.3 points.
Damascus, the war-torn capital of Syria, remains the least liveable city with 30.7 points, while Lagos of Nigeria ranked second-worst with 32.2 points and Tripoli of Libya ranked third-worst with 32.5 points.
Karachi of Pakistan ranked 168th with 37.5 points.
Adil Mohammad Khan, former general secretary of Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP), said there has been no significant development in the city's quality of life in recent times.
He said the main reason behind Dhaka's present situation is the lack of growth control, which is crucial for advancing in the ranking.
Adil also mentioned failure to protect the environment, lack of proper management, unchecked number of vehicles, especially motorcycles, entering the city, and encroachment of water bodies as major reasons behind Dhaka's gradual downfall.
"If there is no control on growth, it will not work even by increasing roads or recovering canals, as when one side of a canal is being recovered the other side is getting occupied again."
Padma Bridge has already been constructed, and now decentralisation of the city is very important, he said. "If we can reduce Dhaka's density of population through decentralisation, we will be able to proceed in other indicators gradually."
The industries, which are one of the main causes behind the low ranking, will have to be shifted gradually, he said. Then it will be possible to make Dhaka liveable, otherwise, the pressure on the capital will continue to increase.
"The government will have to control the city's growth rate strictly. Also, it should not allow any new industrial and commercial facility for its improvement," he added.
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Published : June 24, 2022
By : The Daily Star