The urban challenge in Bangladesh is large and complex. Urbanisation is rapid as with most of South Asia and unlikely to slow, with projections estimating that 56% of the population in Bangladesh will live in towns and cities by 2050 (UN World Urbanization Prospects, 2014). The growth and employment associated with urbanisation has been one of the main drivers of poverty reduction in the country over recent decades. The contribution of slum dwellers to urban GDP was estimated to be 9% in 2010 and it is projected to increase to 14% in 2021. The estimates of slum and non-slum GDP indicate that the income gap between the slum and non-slum residents is likely to widen. There is increasing evidence that vulnerability in urban areas can be as deep and severe as its rural counterpart (Urbanization in Bangladesh: Challenges and Priorities, 2014).
As many rural landless poor continue to move to town cities to escape the effects of climate change, looking for a job to climb out of poverty and try to explore enticing economic opportunities, the hefty price they pay is a heavy burden not only for them, but also for everyone. In cities, the poor rent expensive, yet poor quality housing, with little to no security and unreliable water and electricity supplies. The urban centres are now exposed to challenges such as solid waste management, growth of slum areas withoutlack of clean water, and sanitation facilities, congested living conditions, inadequate drainage systems, and untreated industrial waste disposal. Most of these factors affect the urban poor- the women and the children who are the worst victims. The National Sustainable Development Strategy (2010-21) of the Government of Bangladesh also identified key challenges which include housing, access to infrastructure and basic services as well as income generating activities to overcome poverty through a community-based approach.