State of Cities 2013: Re-thinking Urban Governance in Narayanganj


05 August 2013

State of Cities 2013: Re-thinking Urban Governance in Narayanganj

The year 2012 was significant for urbanisation in Bangladesh due to the emergence of new City Corporations (North DCC, South DCC and Narayanganj), promulgation of city corporation laws and amendments (29 November, 2011) and the division of the capital city in order to ensure basic services, along with proper governance. State of Cities: Re-thinking Urban Governance in Narayanganj is the second report of the State of Cities series published by the Institute of Governance Studies (IGS), BRAC University.

Are we therefore witnessing a new emerging trend in the governing process of urban areas?  At this critical juncture, it is important to explore the effect of these changes, especially their impact on causing a shift from governing to governance.  In this year’s report, an effort has been made to provide such an analysis and we have focused on the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC), which is situated in the northern side and adjacent to Dhaka city. Narayanganj was very recently separated from Dhaka and upgraded to a city corporation. Studying the city, which has become an extended industrial wing of Dhaka and which has a separate governance system, thus may be considered as a natural extension and continuation of last year’s state of cities research.

Being the second of its kind, this year’s State of Cities report takes a holistic approach to understanding the existing process of urban governance and service delivery, to comprehending the present state of efficiency and effectiveness of services provided and identifying the areas for possible reforms. The report consists of six chapters. The first chapter, ‘Re-thinking Urban Governance: An Overview of Narayanganj’ starts with a brief profile of the city of Narayanganj and briefly explains the context and the perspective followed to understand the urban governance within political and economic reality and the research methodology followed. Chapter on ‘City government: contextualizing the concept in Narayanganj’ deals with the city governance system of Narayanganj. ‘Service provision at Narayanganj, actors and factors’ is a chapter which provides a description of different types of services available to the residents of Narayanganj City Corporation and explores the accessibility of these services to them. In the chapter titled, ‘Fiscal Strength of city building’ highlights the taxation and revenue issues of the Narayanganj City Corporation. From the historical analysis of taxation, the chapter has given importance to the economic reality of taxation in Narayanganj. Chapter 5 on ‘Urban Land Use and Social Space in NCC’ analyses trends of urban land use in Narayanganj city. The report ends with a conclusion which summarises the main contributions of the chapters in this report and proposes ways forward for further research on the issue of urban governance.

SoC: Re-thinking Urban Governance in Narayanganj (full report)