Challenges of Upgrading Urban Informal Settlements for Improving Quality of Life: Case of Rupsha Slum, Khulna

  • Sarder Shakil Ahmed Associate Professor; Khulna University; Bangladesh
  • Sk. Kabir Ahmed Lecturer Northern University
Keywords: Quality of life, Informal settlements, Upgradation


There remains a severe scarcity of urban housing for the poor, which are sufficient, safe, and affordable, and assures a good living environment. In today’s global context, this is particularly relevant for 330 million urban households which would increase to 440 million, or approximately 1.6 billion people by 2025. This study aims to identify the challenges resulting from participatory slum up-gradation projects that have attempted to improve the quality of life in an informal settlement, in this case, the Rupsha slum in Khulna, Bangladesh. The fieldwork focused on accumulating information on existing threats and challenges regarding the socio-economic and spatial contexts, living conditions, local building processes based on indigenous adaptive measures, and upgrading scopes of the settlements. On the other hand, the secondary data obtained from the literature review focused on relevant policies and frameworks. As found, housing condition in the study area is dismal, leading to poor quality of life in terms of ownership, dwelling condition, health and hygiene, utility services, spatial negotiation, etc. This paper proposes a Quality of Life (QoL) framework as a means of addressing these challenges by adopting a participatory approach to the up-gradation of informal settlements