In the 1920s, the French-Swiss architect and pioneer of modern housing, Le Corbusier, declared: “Architecture or revolution.” Corbusier was warning that if society fails to produce and provide adequate housing to its members, there will be social unrest and agitation. That is one reason why the core activity of early modern architecture was dedicated so much to housing.
Housing is a complex social and economic dynamic whose results are the physical patterns of cities and settlements, the qualities of collective living, and the health and well-being of the people. Housing is thus a social and material fabric of any city and settlement; it is the key to enhancing the quality of life of the immediate dwellers and the overall city. Yet, housing suffers from many misconceptions and poor practices in Bangladesh.
In the rapidly growing economy of Bangladesh, housing should be a significant factor in both maintaining and supporting the economy. While sectors like infrastructure, industry and connectivity enjoy prioritised attention, we feel that housing as a foundational sector of development deserves a much bigger, thoughtful and creative focus.
In spite of the fact that there is a national housing policy in place and a vibrant real estate market in the country, we feel that there is an urgency for a renewed attention to housing, and transforming policies into actions for qualitative as well as quantitative changes. Consequently, Bengal Institute for Architecture, Landscapes and Settlements maintains “settlements” as one of the focus areas of its studies and propositions.