SANEM Lecture Series 6: SANEM-World Bank Lecture by Prof. Anthony Venables held at July 18, 2017


SANEM-World Bank Lecture by Professor Anthony Venables

Cities for development creating liveability and productivity”


SANEM in collaboration with World Bank organized a special lecture by Professor Anthony Venables on “Cities for development creating liveability and productivity” on July 18, 2017. This program was held at “Muzaffar Ahmed Chowdhury Auditorium”, Faculty of Social Science, University of Dhaka. Dr. Selim Raihan, Executive Director, SANEM and Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka chaired the session where, Dr. Nazma Begum, Chairperson, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka and Dr. AJM Shafiul Alam Bhuiyan, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Dhaka were presented as the special guests of the lecture program.

Professor Anthony Venables, Professor of Economics, Oxford University, directs a program of research on urbanization in developing countries. He is a Fellow of the Econometric Society, the Regional Science Association and the British Academy, a member of the steering group of the International Growth Centre and chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the IFO Institute. His former positions include chief economist at the UK Department for International Development and Professor at the London School of Economics. He has extensive publications in the areas of international trade and spatial economics, including work on trade and imperfect competition, economic integration, multinational firms, economic geography, and natural resources.

In the presentation he showed the challenges of urbanization that we are going to face by 2050. In his lecture, he stated that we need to see cities as a whole economic system since cities are the drivers of economic growth and development. According to him, “A country’s urban strategy is its development strategy” He also opined that Cities are a balance of high productivity and high costs, he mentioned four areas e.g. Urban productivity, Urban costs, Urban equilibrium and Policy implications which needs to be addressed to balance between high productivity and high cost.  In the area of policy implication Prof. Venables pointed out four areas to be taken care of when there comes the term “Policy Implication”. These areas are: Use land efficiently, Infrastructure and utilities, Coordination and Capturing the surplus. In his concluding remark, he gave four suggestions as they are: “the need of understanding the economics of the city as a whole”, ’Requires innovative economic thinking, “Requires tools to apply this at the city level” and “Urban governance and the authorizing environment – needs scope”

This lecture session was followed by a discussion session, participated by Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, Chairman, Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC), Professor Mustafizur Rahman, Distinguished Fellow, Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Dr. Bazlul Haque Khondker, Chairman, SANEM & Professor, Department of Economics, University of Dhaka. Professor Mustafizur Rahman in his speech stressed to cope urbanization with the SDG target 2030. Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman said, “Shall we be thinking about cities or shall we be thinking about urbanization?” Dr. Nazma Begum emphasized on an integration among all the policies to make the process of urbanization more appropriate. Almost 350 Students, young researchers and journalists from different organizations participated in the program. The program came to an end with an open discussion participated by all the audience.

For YouTube visit please go through the link below:

For media coverage, please go through the links below:

The Daily Star: “Cities should be made attractive for investment”

Dhaka Tribune: “Urban development policy must reflect country’s overall socio-economic context ”

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