23 research outputs found

    MICRO CLIMATIC HOUSE DESIGN: A WAY TO ADAPT TO CLIMATE CHANGE? THE CASE OF GHAR KUMARPUR VILLAGE IN BANGLADESH

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    Doubt on global warming is over in the presence of firm scientific evidence supporting this phenomenon. There is not enough room to indefinitely explore the discourses on climate change; rather it is the time to act together in local and global scale for the common future of this planet. This, then, raises the question of what actions should be taken by the communities within their respective nation states and larger multi-national and global associations. Especially, in the case of developing countries, which are worst affected being in the forefront of global climate change, actions at the community level becomes paramount. One of the poorest nations- Bangladesh is worst hit by the recurrent floods and cyclones that are caused by increased global warming. The recent cyclone Sidr, which caused around 3,000 deaths and several million dollars of property loss, is an example of the devastating consequences of climatic change. Coastal areas of this country are in danger and highly vulnerable to cyclones and floods. This paper is based on the study carried out on the south-western coastal areas adjacent to the Sundarbans and such adjacency makes them unique in relation to dependency on resources. Prime focus of this paper is on the micro-climatic design of houses in response to frequent cyclone and the ways they should be designed in a more sustainable way, with available resources affordable to the community habitants. In the end, this paper raises some general questions about urban design and climate change.global warming, climate change, micro-climatic design, urban design

    Are people responsive to a more sustainable, decentralized, and user-driven management of urban metabolism?:

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    Smart, green, and resilient city paradigms have been mainly promoted through top-down and technocratic approaches. However, based on the notion to return to “the right to the city”, emerging community-driven initiatives are providing self-managed infrastructures contributing to urban sustainability transitions. This paper explores the relevance of the behavioral aspects of people-centered approaches in dealing with two different facets of urban metabolism: physical infrastructure (involvement with the management of decentralized infrastructures) and consumption patterns (involvement in proactive reduction of resources used). In the first case we assessed community perceptions about the roles, benefits, and willingness to proactively engage in the management of decentralized green infrastructures in Bogotá City, Colombia. For the second facet, we measured the effectiveness of change agents in re-shaping energy consumption decisions within urban social networks in South Africa and Saudi Arabia. This paper’s results show that pre-determined and standardized strategies do not guarantee positive, nor homogeneous, results in terms of meeting sustainability targets, or promoting community involvement. Hence, a better integration of people-centered and top-down approaches is needed through context-dependent policies, for enhancing both users’ appreciation of and commitment to urban metabolism participative management

    HOUSING THE URBAN POOR: AN INTEGRATED GOVERNANCE PERSPECTIVE : The Case of Dhaka, Bangladesh

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    It is claimed that low-income people in Dhaka city do not have the financial ability to enjoy adecent housing environment. There is a clear lack of knowledge on how low-income people,drawing upon both their available income together and support from formal financial institutions,would be able to afford housing. It is commonly considered a fact that their access to formalfinancial means is largely hindered by their poor financial status, along with the absence of anyform of land tenure security. The case of this study demonstrates, on the contrary, the adequatefinancial ability of the urban poor when it comes to meeting rent and payments for other necessaryservices. This study therefore primarily responds to the critical issue of whether the government isunaware of informal housing practices, or is simply ignorant of low-income housing provision.In this study, perspectives on change are analyzed in order to comprehend the obstacles andchallenges embedded within the housing organizations of Dhaka city. Within the local governanceparadigm, the concepts of deliberative dialogue and partnership are explored with the aim toreveal both the resources rooted in ‘informal’ low-income housing practices, and the resources atstake for the ‘formal’ housing gatekeepers. Different land tenure security options are explored inorder to understand their compatibility with the informal nature of low-income housing. Thetheory of social business is critically reviewed, and used to examine whether low-incomeaffordable housing could be seen as a product resulting from partnerships between vested actors,for whom the low-income community could be considered to be both a beneficiary and a partner.This study suggests that outside the boundary of ‘formal’ housing, there is an unexplored andfunctional ‘informal’ housing market where de facto owners purchase ‘business tenure security’from the slum lords, while de facto tenants buy ‘house rental tenure security’ in exchange forregular rental payments. Within this informality, an innovative financial organization (the JhilparCooperative) has emerged as a creative platform for business investment. This study reveals thatJhilpar’s inhabitants pay more than 30 percent of their monthly income for housing. As anabsolute value, this is more than what is being paid by middle-class – and even many high-income– people. The slum inhabitants also pay more for a limited supply of basic services, such aselectricity.This study concludes that the formal housing gatekeepers lack a complete knowledge of‘informality’ – a notion reflected in, for example, the actual financial ability of the urban poor; thestrength and potentials of systematic community-based cooperative business; and housing relocationdecisions (employment-housing nexus). This fundamental lack of knowledge precludesthe housing gatekeepers from taking the right decisions to achieve affordable low-incomehousing. These deficiencies have led to low-income housing projects that have barely benefitedthe urban poor, benefiting other income groups instead. Low-income housing projects utilizingland title provision, sites and services schemes, and relocation to other places (amongst otherstrategies) disregard the nature, strength, and potentials of housing ‘informality’ in the slums inthe most pronounced manner. This identified knowledge gap also rules out private and publichousing gatekeepers employing their resources as enablers or providers. To improve this impassewith regard to affordable low-income housing, this study advocates a ‘social business model forlow-income housing’ as the most effective option for the Jhilpar community, wherebypartnerships would be built on an ‘investment’ mindset, through a shift away from conventional‘give away’ practices.QC 2012022

    Housing the Urban Poor: Planning, Business and Politics : A Case Study of Duaripara Slum, Dhaka city, Bangladesh

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    This study is conducted on Duripara slum of Dhaka city which is one of the fastest growing megalopolis and primate cities not only among the developing but also among the developed countries. The high rate of urbanization has posed a challenging dimension to the central, local govt. and concerned development authority. In Dhaka about 50% of the total urban population is poor and in the urbanization process the poor are the major contributors which can be characterized as urbanization of poverty. In response to the emerging urban problems, the development authority makes plan to solve those problems as well as to manage the urban growth. By focusing on the housing issue for the urban poor in Dhaka Metropolitan Development Plan (DMDP), this study is aimed to find out the distortion between plan and reality through making a connection between such planning practice, political connections and business dealings. Knowledge gained from the reviewed literature, structuration theory, actors oriented approach, controversies of urban growth and theoretical framework were used as interpretative guide for the study. The data set for this study were collected both from primary and secondary sources. The primary sources include data collected through semi-structure questionnaire survey administered to 60 households using non-random judgmental sampling method. Moreover, interview guides, group discussion and personal observation were also used to synergize the study objectives. In addition to primary sources, secondary sources were used when relevant. The study used both qualitative (content analysis) and quantitative methods like descriptive statistics to summarize the results of the study. In DMDP, it was recommended that the urban poor will be relocated to the urban fringe areas with tenure security. This study found that these recommendations are not practical and implementable, at all, in relation to current socio-economic characteristics of the slum dwellers, land management system, transport facilities and political practice. The slum dwellers are highly mobile in choosing their place of residence and their choice is determined, to a greater content, by close proximity to work place and travel cost. This study discovered that a patron-client relationship has been existing in the study area where the political leaders play the major role to control over the slum and thereby their lives. Under the feudalistic social structure the poor are only able to use their limited form of agency for the survival. Whilst, in the urban fringe, almost all the lands are in the grip of private land developers, local elites etc. who have strong relation with the powerful political leaders and where land acquisition cost by the development authority is fairly high. In general, in and around Dhaka public transport system is very poor and costly which eventually discourages people to live away from their work places. From the findings of this study it is revealed that there is a clear pattern of urban pockets of small scale industries and small scale slum and squatter settlements. There is as such no direction and guideline regarding the development of transport infrastructure facilities commensurate with the recommendations. The politicians are most pervasive actors in all spheres of development activities. They misuse the power to influence any decision of the public agencies in favor of their business interests. They are the well known businessmen and the other businessmen have to keep a good relation with them in order to gain financial benefits. From the findings of this study it was discovered that many of the owners of the private land developers and private consulting firms are politicians. Moreover, these political elites have strong influence on the officials of different public agencies as those officials have been appointed by the recommendations of those national elites. All over, there is a business relationship between these politicians, officials of public agencies and businessmen themselves where plan like DMDP is a mean for business. Under such structure and practice, the poor are the victims who are becoming aliens in the urban social geography

    Examining the Walking Accessibility, Willingness, and Travel Conditions of Residents in Saudi Cities

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    Rapid urban expansion and population growth in Saudi cities over the past four decades have increased vehicular accidents and traffic congestion and have impacted the daily walking conditions of the residents. Walking has various health and environmental benefits. In North American and European countries, three factors have been found to motivate a resident to walk within their community: their accessibility to community social and business facilities, their perception and willingness, and the safety conditions of the roads and sidewalks within their community for walking. This study examined these factors and their role in the walking habits of the residents in the neighborhoods of Doha and Dana districts in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of Dhahran. Data were collected through field observations and by randomly sampling and interviewing 200 residents. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and SPSS statistical software were used for data analysis. The results show that most of the community facilities are randomly placed in the districts. Mosques are the closest facility to each resident with an average accessibility distance of 242m. Almost 43% of the respondents prefer daily walking while the rest are hesitant due to hot weather during summer and narrow and poorly designed sidewalks. The sidewalks were also found to be blocked by trees, street signals, and illegally parked vehicles. Future studies should explore the accessibility to facilities, willingness, climate, and health conditions of the residents, and the road and sidewalk conditions for walking in other cities of the Kingdom.Applied Science, Faculty ofNon UBCEngineering, School of (Okanagan)ReviewedFacult

    Information technology: marriage between it and social business-grameen intel social business ltd.

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    Aiming to reduce infant mortality, improve the mother’s health, and help Bangladeshi rural farmers improve agricultural production, Grameen Intel Social Business Limited was formed in 2009 by Grameen Trust and Intel – linking an organization with decades of experience in addressing poverty to a company with decades of know-how in technology innovation. Grameen Intel is devoted to looking at different ways and means to assist the rural poor by investigating their real needs to find suitable solutions using information and technology (IT). In the agriculture care program, mrittika analyzes soil nutrients to find the deficit nutrition required for enhanced production while ankur is a seed selection application for the rural farmers. Under maternal health programs, shumata is ante-natal care monitoring and tracking software for pregnant women, and dolna is a vaccine scheduling and tracking software for newborns and infants. Given this background, this part of the book attempts to discuss these ongoing programs to view the current and potential effects on the villagers. Moreover, a critical look is given on the geographic dissemination, costs associated with these services and actual benefits.Publishe

    Travel-To-School Mode Choice Modelling Employing Artificial Intelligence Techniques: A Comparative Study

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    Many techniques including logistic regression and artificial intelligence have been employed to explain school-goers mode choice behavior. This paper aims to compare the effectiveness, robustness, and convergence of three different machine learning tools (MLT), namely the extreme learning machine (ELM), support vector machine (SVM), and multi-layer perceptron neural network (MLP-NN) to predict school-goers mode choice behavior in Al-Khobar and Dhahran cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). It uses the students’ information, including the school grade, the distance between home and school, travel time, family income and size, number of students in the family and education level of parents as input variables to the MLT. However, their outputs were binary, that is, either to choose the passenger car or walking to the school. The study examined a promising performance of the ELM and MLP-NN suggesting their significance as alternatives for school-goers mode choice modeling. The performances of the SVM was satisfactory but not to the same level of significance in comparison with the other two. Moreover, the SVM technique is computationally more expensive over the ELM and MLP-NN. Further, this research develops a majority voting ensemble method based on the outputs of the employed MLT to enhance the overall prediction performance. The presented results confirm the efficacy and superiority of the ensemble method over the others. The study results are likely to guide the transport engineers, planners, and decision-makers by providing them with a reliable way to model and predict the traffic demand for transport infrastructures on the basis of the prevailing mode choice behavior.Applied Science, Faculty ofNon UBCEngineering, School of (Okanagan)ReviewedFacultyResearche
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