First Bangladesh ‘smart city’ to debut in 2018

Could Purbachal in Bangladesh be the next Singapore or Seoul? City planners propose a clean and ecologically sensitive city with ample green space and affordable housing and public transportation.

One of the world’s poorest cities, Bangladesh is pushing on with its ‘smart nation’ dream. Image: Chayon, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

One of the world’s poorest nations is jumping on the “smart city” bandwagon.

The Dhaka Tribune reports that the largest planned metropolis in Bangladesh — originally conceived in 1996 — will debut in 2018.

Plans call for Purbachal to be clean and ecologically sensitive, with ample green space, affordable housing and public transit. It would have its own water supply, sewage system, waste treatment and energy production, the Tribune says. The new infrastructure would insulate the planned city from less reliable systems and services in nearby Dhaka.

Underscoring the high ambitions, the blueprints include a 142-story skyscraper and 70,000-seat stadium. But don’t expect Purbachal to be as tech-savvy as Singapore or Seoul.

For many city leaders and urban planners in the region, “smart” means the sort of reliable public infrastructure and services that urbanites in other parts of the world take for granted. 

This story was published with permission from Citiscope, a nonprofit news outlet that covers innovations in cities around the world. More at

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