For development pilots, bigger cities aren't always better

The city of Singra in northwest Bangladesh is piloting e-rickshaws as a sustainable public transport and health service for safer streets. Photo by: Rakibul Islam

BARCELONA — With its population of 45,000, the growing city of Singra in northwest Bangladesh isn’t as well-known as its larger peers — Dhaka, Bogra, and Sylhet. But as some development groups begin to laud the benefits of holding pilot projects in so-called “secondary cities,” Singra is now home to three development pilots, funded by donors including the World Bank, Korea International Cooperation Agency, and GIZ, the German agency for international development.

A secondary city is one with a population between 10-50 percent of the size of the country’s largest, which provides critical support functions for governance or transportation, and which may be a regional or state capital, according to the United States’ Department of State, which is co-leading an initiative to map them.

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About the author

  • Rebecca root%2520%25281%2529

    Rebecca Root

    Rebecca Root is an Editorial Associate and Reporter at Devex. She has a background in journalism and communications, and has written for a variety of publications while living and working in New York and London. She is now based in Barcelona and produces multimedia editorial content for digital content series and media partnerships.