Dhaka (CNN) - Life in low-lying Dhaka can be a paradox. Flood waters rise up to a meter in the monsoon months, but there is an ongoing shortage of clean drinking water.
The Dhaka Water and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) is working with WaterAid in some of the country’s biggest and most unsanitary slums to improve access to safe, legal drinking water connections, and build toilet units.
Dhaka (CNN) – With 500,000 new migrants arriving in Bangladesh’s capital each year, finding space for them is a problem.
Where do 15 million people go to sleep every night? For several months of the year certain areas of Dhaka are under up to a meter of water, creating even greater pressure for secure housing.
Architect Mohammed Rezwan is building what he believes will be the solution to rising floods. North of Dhaka, on the Gumani River, is a floating village. More than 50 boats providing homes, hospitals and schools, and supporting 90,000 people.
Dhaka (CNN) – Dhaka’s story is one of chaos, congestion and calamity. This city is choked with people, traffic and pollution. At the centre is what has been described as a traffic clot: The jaanjot. A sticky quagmire of rickshaws, cars and vans, it’s the source of much frustration for Dhaka’s 13 million residents.
This megacity has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the world: In all its many streets and roads, only 67 junctions have traffic signals.
Like any city, Dhaka has its dreams, and its vision for the future. The Strategic Transport Plan is a mammoth document which promises a lot of things in the next 20 years, including a new metro system, and a rapid bus transit system. Yet with the dubious accolade of being the "rickshaw capital of the world," and 400,000 of these vehicles on the streets, it’s hard to see how the busy roads will give way to a calmer reality. A pilot project to create rickshaw-free zones for Dhaka’s pedestrians has been implemented, with some opposition.
The UN predicts that by 2025 Dhaka will be larger than Beijing, Shanghai, and Mexico City, with a population pushing 25 million. Finding space for these people to move around their already crammed city will be a major challenge.
(CNN) – Every day Dhaka’s 15 million residents produce 5,000 tons of waste. Almost half that waste is uncollected, and adds to problems with pollution, disease and carbon emissions.
Landfill sites such as Amin Bazar are dumping grounds for mountains of waste. More than one third of the uncollected rubbish finds its way into different water bodies, open spaces and drains, causing environmental damage.
In 1995 two urban planners decided that Bangladesh needed better waste management.
Around 70% of the city’s waste is organic and, in their business model, this can be converted into opportunity.
Trucks roll across the city collecting organic waste, from households and markets, taking it on to a large composting site. The compost is then used as fertiliser.
Bangladesh’s government has replicated the model in 14 other cities and towns since 2002. Other countries have also followed suit, including Vietnam, Pakistan and Nepal.
(CNN) Every three years city officials here in Vancouver comb the street corners, counting each and every person who doesn't have a home.
In 2011 they tracked down 2,623 people sleeping rough.
Housing is at a premium in Vancouver. Prices are the highest in Canada and affordable homes are in demand. This is North America's most expensive city, according to the Economist. The pressure for housing is a large part of the homelessness equation.
Vancouver (CNN) – Vancouver is Canada's Pacific gateway to Asia, with 40% of its residents born overseas. The city is regarded as a model of integration. CNN's Paula Newton looks at Vancouver's long history of immigration.
Future Cities continues to explore why Vancouver continually tops the liveability index charts, this week looking at the city’s commitment to local food production. We meet the urban farmers who are growing tons of food in tiny spaces, all part of Vancouver’s ambition to among the most sustainable cities in the world.
Vancouver (CNN) – Sitting between snow-covered peaks and the Pacific Ocean, Vancouver is the perfect location for the outdoor enthusiast.
The city is famously one where you can ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon.
The quality of life in Vancouver repeatedly pushes it to the top of The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability index.
Berlin (CNN) – Roland was a border guard. For four years, he patrolled the Berlin Wall. He had a licence to kill his fellow East German citizens if they tried to escape. Roland is part of Berlin's past.
Lara is four. She has only ever known freedom and democracy. She is part of Berlin's future.
As the pair stroll, hand-in-hand, along one of the last stretches of the wall, memories are handed down.
This is a city that may have moved on, but has certainly not forgotten.
The need to remember echoes around Berlin, and the wall features prominently in blue prints for the future.
Berlin (CNN) – A new vehicle has found its way onto Berlin’s street: a car that does not demand a driver.
Developed by Dr. Raul Rojas and his team at Berlin’s Freie University, this computer-controlled car is equipped with sophisticated lasers, radar, video cameras and a sensitive GPS system.
"What we think is that this can be the car of the future in the sense that you don't need to drive,” said Rojas. “It would be like a taxi. You don't even need to own a car, you don't have to park the car, you don't need a garage at home."
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