Panelists call to evolve Karachi’s urban master plan

Karachi: “A great deal of thinking and resource planning is required when developing an urban plan of a city,” said Mr. Arif Hasan, urban planner, and architect. He was speaking at the webinar, “Urban Flooding in Karachi – Reasons & Remedies”. It was organized by the Global and Regional Studies Center at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), Karachi. Prof. Dr. Noman Ahmed, Dean Faculty of Architecture & Management Sciences (AMS), NED University, and Mr. Farhan Anwar, Urban Sustainability Planner were among the panelists. Ambassador Ghulam Rasool Baluch was the moderator. During his preliminary comment, Ambassador Ghulam Rasool said that Karachi is a megacity without an urban master plan despite the city being a financial hub of Pakistan. 

While commenting on the topic, Mr. Arif Hasan said that the recommendations for developing the master plan in Karachi were not implemented.  He said that the research required to prepare the master plan was inadequate while the city’s ecological aspects along the coast were ignored when the city population began to expand. Mr. Hasan called for the evolution of Karachi’s master plan along with developing a viable strategy to do so. Dr. Noman Ahmed shared a historical perspective of Karachi and how it evolved into a megacity. He mentioned how the British before the partition divided the native city from the modern city. He suggested that rainwater reservoirs should be built on unused land in Karachi so it can be utilized in landscaping and plantation. According to Mr. Farhan Anwar, modern cities are socially integrated and are environmentally sound. He said that a strategic plan must be used to conceptualize, envision, and develop cities. Mr. Anwar suggested that a solid waste management plan must be implemented to prevent urban flooding. The panelists agreed that urban planning cannot be done in isolation and all stakeholders must be taken into consideration. In his ending remarks, Ambassador Ghulam Rasool said that Karachi is visualized as a digitally democratic city, an inclusive city, and a city that is in harmony with nature.

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