This paper presents a mixed method, participatory exploration of liveability as a stocktaking assessment with projections for urban vitality in cities, particularly in LMIC, small cities. The paper takes as its case study research conducted in 2019 and 2020 in Mongla and Noapara, south west Bangladesh. This paper illustrates firstly, the possibilities for the concept of liveability to produce nuanced, granular understandings of how small cities such as Mongla and Noapara function and are experienced by residents: how residents negotiate social processes, power relations, and access to resources that shape their everyday living. Secondly, the paper considers how liveability enables assessments of a city's vitality in the present and its potential vitality in the future: how cities might cope and develop in the face of rapid urbanization, chronic difficulties, and acute crises. This research combines work in under-researched LMIC small cities, practical research towards more nuanced and socially just deployment of the notion of ‘urban liveability’ and urban vitalist discourse to argue for a people centred urbanism for the future.
Ruszczyk, H. A., Halligey, A., Rahman, M. F., & Ahmed, I. (2023). Liveability and vitality: an exploration of small cities in Bangladesh. Cities, 133, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2022.104150