New-Build Gentrification in Chittagong, Bangladesh : A Case Study from Asian Gentrification Perspective

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Title: New-Build Gentrification in Chittagong, Bangladesh : A Case Study from Asian Gentrification Perspective
Author: Rahman, Muhammad Sajjadur
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Geosciences and Geography
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2017
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Regional Studies
Abstract: This article explores mode of gentrification in Bangladesh with specific focus on new-build gentrification in Chittagong city, from the perspective of gentrification in Asian cities. This research is the opening work in this study area as well in Bangladesh, where an overall image of gentrification has been depicted. Gentrification has been one of the long-debated issues of urban studies, though, most of these debates have been taken place regarding Anglo-American cities. While emerging literature indicates a ‘planetary gentrification’, most of them focused on Anglo-American cities, a very few researches have been conducted on many urban centers all over Asia, Africa, Latin America, and even in Eastern Europe. In case of southern gentrification, especially in Asian cities, new-build gentrification is very significant. Thus, the case study of this article is based on Bangladesh, and more specifically, a newly build luxurious area known as Khulshi Residential area of Chittagong metropolitan city. However, this work has also brought the issues being discussed in classical gentrification literature. This research used explorative studies and qualitative methods mainly. Additionally, quantitative analysis has also been used in minor extent. Qualitative part of the research was based on visual analysis, questionnaire survey and in-depth interview where, quantitative part includes the analysis of census and survey data, and graphical presentation of those data. From the analysis, it is strongly evident that the case study area is facing the gentrification process rapidly, where most of the notions of it indicate that new-build gentrification is prominent. Both state and private sector act jointly in gentrification process. State lay the foundation through road construction, provision of better service and other infrastructure and through the gentrification friendly policy. After that, private actors utilize those facilities and push the process further. The case study shows certain common characteristics of the main stream gentrification theory, which include intrusion of a new social class with higher economic power, an influx of investment in the real estate and luxury service sector in the selected area, the production of exclusive places for wealthy population in those areas, and so forth. Compared with other Asian cities, regional similarities - for instance, state-led gentrification and eviction, rapid privatization, use of public property for private use, highly influenced public policy by social elite, etc. are also visible. Additionally, Socio-spatial inequality is highly manifested in the gentrified area. Thus, certain localized characteristics are also evident. Both displacement and replacement are evident in the case study; however, displacement and eviction are more prominent than replacement. Economic capability is crucial to be the gentrifier than socio-demographic characteristics (for instance, age, family structure, social class, education etc.). Loss of public places and conversion of it into private use to benefit certain wealthy community is visible in the area. Along with that, segregation, in terms of social and economic, is the common feature with an emergence of gated community is in the area. However, since this research is the initial study in Bangladesh perspective, further in-depth study is required.

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