The Political Economy of Urban Space: Land and Real Estate in Dhaka City

Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh is the world’s fastest-growing megacity. The city is also the service sector hub with a bulk of business firms, corporate offices, banks, and shopping districts established here. Since Dhaka is the seat of government of a centralized country, almost all government agencies are headquartered in this city. It is also at the top end for both availability and quality of health and education services in the whole country. As a fast-growing megacity with accompanying dominance of the country’s urban system, Dhaka is a mega-site for capitalist accumulation and resulting dispossession of the marginalized and less powerful. The current paper analyzes political economy processes of accumulation and dispossession underlying the production and reproduction of urban space. Dhaka city’s land and real estate (LRE) has been selected as the case study for this research. The fieldwork was conducted in Dhaka city and some of its fringe areas during October 2011-March 2012. The data collection methods were literature review, qualitative interviews, ethnographic observations, and newspaper scanning. Twenty in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with a range of stakeholders of Dhaka’s urban space. They include planners, geographers, public officials, lawyers, environmental activists, real estate executives, land agents, landowners, property owners, and persons affected by land acquisition/grabbing.

Author: Haque, Kazi Nurmohammad Hossainul
Type: Working Paper
Year: 2012