Do people shape cities, or do cities shape them? Precisely speaking, cities are shaped by people. Better the planning people do, the better the cities will be shaped. Before moving on, it is imperative to first understand how people shape cities. What perspectives should be given utmost importance to shape cities in the best way possible? Why cities of Pakistan have not been shaped in the way they are supposed to be? Due to poor drainage, heaps of street garbage, lack of civic facilities, and apt housing, cities of Pakistan have been reached to devastating forms. Visionary master planning can play a significant role in achieving quality of life in the same cities. The necessity of master plans can very well be appreciated by mentioning the evils situations, which a typical town faces in the absence of these plans.
What is Master Plan? A Master Plan is defined as a comprehensive (long-term) perspective plan intended for guiding the sustainable planned development of a city. It is also a statutory document envisaged for systematic development of urban areas for the horizon years. It has multifold benefits. For instance, it provides a framework for local plans (act as an umbrella). It establishes aims, policies, and general proposals. It interprets National and Regional policies. It provides the basis for development control. Last but not least, it also provides a blueprint for the planning of cities. In short, the importance of the Master Plan and the benefits that it can bring can never be undermined.
When it comes to Lahore, the importance of the Master Plan further increased. Why? The answer of why is that Lahore is the second-largest city in Pakistan and the capital of the Punjab province in terms of population. The current status of the city has not been given to it just like that instead there are factors and reasons that justify its position among other cities of the province. Features like a vast network of within city roads, the number of trunk roads connecting it with other major cities of the province, Ravi River, etc. made it a model metropolis of the province. Later on, other factors such as educational institutions, the commercial center of the province, modern healthcare facilities, and more also contributed to maintaining its status. The population of Lahore is growing and so is the need for resources, employment opportunities, and housing and road networks among other things. To cater to all these needs of the city, the development of a new master plan for Lahore is already underway.
In the past, master plans for Lahore were made in different years by different authorities but somehow those plans were not implemented as expected and hence the desired results were not achieved. The Master Plan for Lahore 2050 is, however, in its development phase with the challenge of successful implementation. Let us see what to expect from the new master plan or at least which areas will be covered under this plan.
What to achieve through Lahore Master Plan – 2050?
There were a lot of different issues that were highlighted in the Lahore Master Plan – 2021 after analyzing the existing situation of the city. Most of these were categorized in the following five types, land management and housing, traffic and transportation, sustainable living environment, urban governance, and finance. Contrarily to these shortcomings in Lahore Master Plan – 2021, the objectives laid out for Lahore Master Plan – 2050 have been set according to the modern day needs of the city. This not only includes planning and development of the city, infrastructure and economy of the city but also outlines other defining aspects of the city which are a must if a well-planned, consolidated and integrated plan has to be submitted.
Broadly, these objectives, as mentioned in the request for expression of interest by Lahore Development Authority (LDA), are as follows:
While the selected firm will be required to develop a master plan of Lahore, it will also be required to provide regional plans of urban settlements. In addition to that, the scope of work also requires a strategic development plan, implementation framework and guidelines, monitoring and evaluation framework and communication and consultation plan. Being the second-largest city in the country, Lahore has a huge development potential that it will continue to enjoy Therefore, authorities need to ensure that land in Lahore is utilized efficiently to maximize benefits.
The development of the Master Plan for Lahore 2050 is still in its planning phase and will reportedly take at least one more year to complete. The plan will be comprehensive and cover every aspect such as traffic, housing, infrastructure, industrial areas etc. so far there has been only one update that has been given out by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) Chairman. The new master plan will have new industrial areas to cater to the emerging needs of spaces for the industrial sector in and around the city. At present, there are only two industrial areas in Lahore which are Quaid-e-Azam Industrial Estate and Sundar Industrial Estate. Presently, both these industrial estates have reached their full capacity while the demand for industrial land is continuously increasing.
Dar-ul-Handsa, a Lebanese company has qualified after evaluation of the technical proposal for preparation of the new Master Plan 2050 for Lahore. A financial bid of Rs. 520 million the qualifying company was made. It is a big hope that this Master Plan for Lahore will combat many evils of the city which have had made life difficult over here. May Lahore will shine after the complete implementation of the Master Plan for Lahore – 2050 with the same glory as it was once shined in the time of Mughals.