Neglecting the urban poor in Bangladesh: research, policy and action in the context of climate change

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In Bangladesh, urban poverty is neglected in research, policy and action on poverty reduction. This paper explores the underlying reasons for this relative neglect, which include national identity and image, the political economy of urban poverty and the structuring of knowledge creation. It argues for more comprehensive policy and programmes for the urban poor given Bangladesh's increasingly urban future and the growing magnitude of urban poverty. The impact of climate change will accelerate Bangladesh's ongoing urbanization as well as deepen the scale and severity of urban poverty. The fact that reducing urban poverty will be increasingly important in meeting national goals for poverty reduction means that policy and action must pay more attention to the urban poor. This is contingent upon two factors: first, a better understanding of the scale and nature of urban poverty and vulnerability; and second, the confrontation of powerful interests necessary to secure a national commitment to urban poverty reduction. © 2011 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-502
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011


  • Bangladesh
  • climate change
  • urban poverty

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global Development Institute


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