Ecosystem services management: An evaluation of green adaptations for urban development in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Paul Edward McShane, Naeema Jihan Zinia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


We evaluated green adaptation strategies (parks, gardens, green roof, rainwater harvest, green façades/wall, porous pavement, and green and blue belts) in the context of urban development and potential climate change impacts for the city of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Our review of relevant literature revealed substantial environmental (cooler and cleaner environment), economic (reduced energy demand, avoided cost of drainage maintenance, increased land values) and social (higher social interaction, improved mental and physical health) benefits arising from the maintenance and development of ecosystem services in major cities. Our evaluation of green adaptation strategies was undertaken with household surveys in three wards of Dhaka, expert interviews, and our personal experiences. Rooftop gardens/agriculture had very high social acceptance (85%) and economic feasibility and was commonly practiced in Dhaka, particularly among house owners. Pocket park, green roof, rainwater harvest, green façades/wall, porous pavement, and community garden were all considered to be highly feasible for implementation with collective efforts but had lower social acceptance. Many respondents were unwilling to pay for green adaptation strategies even knowing their benefits. Our research revealed that successful implementation of beneficial green adaptation will require public participation at all stages supported through awareness raising campaigns. Enforcement of laws and strong commitment from the government was also considered to be beneficial. However, more transparent cost-benefit analyses promoting the conservation of ecosystem services is required, particularly for resource-poor Dhaka. Green adaptations make cities more resilient to pressures from demographic change and climate change increasingly relevant in the developing world.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-32
Number of pages10
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Urban ecosystem services
  • Green adaptation
  • Climate change
  • Social acceptance
  • Economic feasibility
  • City

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