Adnan Zillur Morshed

THE GRUDGING URBANIST

Adnan Zillur Morshed, PhD, is an architect, architectural historian, urbanist, and public intellectual. He is a professor of architecture and architectural history at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and executive director of the Centre for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism at BRAC University. Morshed received his Ph.D. and Master’s in architecture from MIT, and BArch from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, where he also taught. He was a 2018 TEDxFoggyBottom speaker at George Washington University. He is the author of multiple books; among them, Impossible Heights: Skyscrapers, Flight, and the Master Builder (University Minnesota Press, 2015), Oculus: A Decade of Insights into Bangladeshi Affairs (University Press Limited, 2012), DAC, Dhaka in 25 Buildings (Altrim Publishers, Barcelona, 2017), and River Rhapsody: A Museum of Rivers and Canals (BRAC University, 2018).

September 16, 2020
September 16, 2020

Discrimination by design

I was reading a harrowing report in the New York Times that revealed startling data about how federal officials in the United States during the 1930s demarcated or “redlined” certain areas of different cities as “hazardous” or “risky for business,” based on the concentration of poor Black people or immigrants in them.

July 21, 2020
July 21, 2020

To remove or not to remove?

Lincoln Park is our community hub on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Just a block away from where we have lived for nearly two decades, it is a magnificent swath of urban green, within walking distance from the US Capitol.

June 16, 2020
June 16, 2020

How can Dhaka become more resilient to future pandemics?

Cities have generally been the epicentres of the devastation caused by Covid-19, fuelling debates around the world on how to make cities more resilient against future pandemics.

May 23, 2020
May 23, 2020

Not rewarding honesty is promoting dishonesty

It is hard not to notice the frozen posture of BUET engineer MD Delwoar Hossain’s murdered body on the bank of the Turag river.

May 8, 2020
May 8, 2020

Density is not the problem – lack of public health and social justice is

In America, one of the politically charged reactions to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has been the denigration of urban population density.

April 6, 2020
April 6, 2020

Adieu, Architect Bashirul Haq

A Bangladeshi pioneer departed this world on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Architect Bashirul Haq was a poet who crafted his poems with the language of brick, green, light, air, and tactility.

March 20, 2020
March 20, 2020

Bangabandhu and the Bengal Delta

It is fascinating that Bangabandhu began his Unfinished Memoirs (published in 2012) with an existential characterisation of his birthplace in geographic relationship to a river: the Madhumati river, which divides or connects the two southern districts of Faridpur and Khulna.

March 10, 2020
March 10, 2020

Who is really responsible for the coronavirus pandemic?

As the novel coronavirus known as Covid-19 spreads rapidly across the world, we now face another dimension of the “globalisation and its discontents” argument.

February 14, 2020
February 14, 2020

Changing the shy world of adolescent girls

Back in 2017, we had an opportunity to build a small and experimental toilet in Jhalokati, with the simple intention of helping adolescent girls in a rural school who had no real toilet to avail.

January 26, 2020
January 26, 2020

Why BRAC should transform its experience into knowledge

I first met Sir Fazle Hasan Abed in 2012 at an invitation-only meeting in Washington, DC.