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TASK FORCE ON URBANIZATION Presentation before the Urban Resource Centre Forum, Karachi, 22 February 2011. Arif Hasan Em PowerPoint Presentation
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TASK FORCE ON URBANIZATION Presentation before the Urban Resource Centre Forum, Karachi, 22 February 2011. Arif Hasan Email: arifhasan@cyber.net.pk. Task Force notified on 28 June 2010 Task Force members: 1. Mr. Arif Hasan Chairman 37-D, Muhammad Ali Society, Karachi.

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TASK FORCE ON URBANIZATION

Presentation

before the Urban Resource Centre Forum, Karachi,

22 February 2011.

ArifHasan

Email: arifhasan@cyber.net.pk

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Task Force notified on 28 June 2010

Task Force members:

1. Mr. ArifHasan Chairman

37-D, Muhammad Ali Society, Karachi.

2. Mr. Ahmed RafayAlam Member

Advocate High Courts

1-Bawa Park, Upper Mall, Lahore.

3. Mr. ShahidKardar Member

46 – B, Gulberg – III, Lahore.

4. Ms. Nafees Shah Member

Chairperson, NCHD

14th-15th Floor, Shaheed-e-Millat ,

Secretariat Islamabad.

5. Mr. GhulamMohy-ud-Din Mari Member

73 – D, Block – 4, Satellite Town, Quetta.

6. Dr. Noman Ahmed Member

Head, Dept of Arch., NED University,Karachi.

7. Arch. Shaukat Ali Sharar Member

Shaukat Associates

Near Girls College, Saidu Sharif, Swat.

8. Dr. Nuzha Ahmad Member

Director, AERC,Karachi University, Karachi.

9. Mr. MaqboolIlahiMember/

Urban Development Specialist,

Secretary Planning Commission, Islamabad.

Inputs were also made by the professionals of the Planning Commission.

Mr. AsifQuyumQureshi and Mr. ImtiazVohra also presented papers.

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This is an exploration.

  • Members very diverse. Lawyers, academic economists, planners, NGO professionals working with low income group, businessmen and planning commission professionals.
  • A consensus document between them.
  • It is hoped that this can lead to discussions and workshops which can then lead to a federal government urban development policy. Provincial legislations based on it can follow.
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1. Report Contents:The report gives a brief history of urbanization , existing conditions and What the Task Force thinks are reasons for it and the repercussions,Change of definition of urban. Variation between provinces. (Section 2)

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2. Task Force Vision (Section 3)-Cities should be economically sustainable inclusive, high density and investment, commuter, pedestrian and culture friendly. -It has tried to identify some issues that need to be tackled and to develop some direction that can be adopted to make this vision possible. -Task Force recognises that in the present scenario projects have replaced planning and for the foreseeable future one has to live with it. -Apply principles to projects, ecology, landuse, who benefits, heritage tangible and intangible.

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The Task Force believe that urban areas are places of culture, learning and ideas whose development is based on promoting liveability, creativity and harmony and well-being of citizens irrespective of class and ethnicity. Given existing conditions, the Task Force believes the following initiatives are required in order to make its vision a reality: - Land and real estate must be made available- Property speculations must be curtailed and regulated- The real estate market should be made transparent and competitive- Job and investment opportunities must be created in order to attract and be involved in international networks- Creativity and local skills must be supported- Attractive and environmentally friendly living and working conditions must be created- Low income housing must be supported through market and subsidy based mechanisms- Densification, rehabilitation, development and mixed land use should be promoted- Design excellence should be enforced- Public transport should be available, irrespective of class, age or sex- Pedestrian and commuter friendly cities, neighbourhoods and communities should be promoted- Built heritage should be protected and adapted- Culture and entertainment should be supported

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3. An Important Issue is a Changing Urban Demography:-Age group 15 – 24 most important-Unmarried adolescents. Changes in gender relations and family structures. Major differences between areas/cities. -Migration: 10.8 million migrants in 1998, 25% of total migrants to Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi (13% of total to Karachi), 24% abroad. Changing nature of urban settlements and culture. -Urban regions

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4. Economy: Major economy related issues. These are given in Section 4.2. Unemployment is one of them. -No option but for industrialisation/development of a formal services sector-What is needed is security, energy, infrastructure and skills-Energy, solar is a workable option. Reduce taxes: Give assurances to prospective alternative energy users. (Urdu Bazaar case) -Support to local trade and commerce. Hawkers, small scale manufacturing (especially in small towns). Mandi operators -Micro-credit, not for poverty alleviation but for expansion of small and medium business, improvement of their work places.

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-Local commerce and market related activity needs infrastructure: cargo terminals / depots / warehousing / mandis.

-And in them it needs a space for services sector without which there is chaos which we see. Housing, transport facilities (these develop in an ad-hoc manner).

-There are jobs for which skills are not available. Medical, building, IT, textiles.

-Skill development: More doctors than nurses, no textile technicians, it is so in all fields. Ayub, Bhutto. Polytechnics, vocational schools, universities built on sand.

-Increase in migration unless small towns can meet the socio-economic aspiration of a growing educated middle class.

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5. Poverty:- You cannot have peace with islands of affluence in a sea of deprivation. - 1.2 million street children, falling share in formal sector jobs, inflation, HIV aids- Improved infrastructure helps in asset creation, better health, saves time, periods work for women.

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6. Land: (Section 4.4)-Most important of issues - Acute shortage of available land at appropriate place, scale and price for any function. Residential, commercial, industrial.- Large tracks at vantage spots locked in government custody in residential and administrative purposes. They pay no tax.- Elite holdings that cannot be accessed in development, especially in small and intermediate towns.- This unavailability results in excessively higher land prices and as a result land is used inefficiently/investment in land is more lucrative than developing it. This has to change. - In large cities it is hotly contested, used for political patronage, acquired and developed by coercion often through informal means.- Smaller cities, manipulated by powerful agriculturists where they own land and bureaucrats determine development where the state does.

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No genuine land records left. We do not know who owns how much and where.

  • - TMAs in small towns have no expertise to record, plan or develop land.
  • - Through the use of the land acquisition act, whoever is powerful enough can get land for their interest groups. That is why most land is converted for elite colonies rather than for industry and transport related infrastructure or for low income housing. These issues have not even been factored into development plans. It is because of the use of the Land Acquisition Act tens of thousands of homes belonging to low income groups and ancient villages have been bulldozed to make way for high income settlements.
  • - Transporters’ mandi operators and a nexus of informal developers and agriculturists determine urban form in small towns.
  • - The existing legal framework has many negative repercussions on the availability of land and its use. These relate to land registration, transfer laws, conversion processes and lack of transparency in land related dealings.
  • - These issues cannot be resolved without public consultation and continued public involvement to guarantee transparency, accountability and security in those making investments.
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7. Byelaws and Zoning Regulations: Section 4.6- Prevent the economical use of land which in turn promotes sprawl, high infrastructure and transport costs, elite townships and katchiabadis. - Anti-street, anti-pedestrian, anti-mixed landuse and anti-dissolved space. As a result, violations lead to corruption/violence. - Destroy both tangible and intangible heritage. - Do not accommodate/promote informal sector requirements. - Do not promote the creation of multi-class cultural, entertainment and recreational spaces.

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- Used more for revenue generation by regularising violations than for creating a liveable environment.

- Should be amended to match market preferences and socio-cultural requirements keeping in view environmental issues.

- Enhanced densities for economic use of land and transport. www.urbandensity.org

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8. Physical Infrastructure: - Falling in quality, the poor stand deprived and disadvantaged. - Sewage – gravity flow systems; adopting of sanitation policy. - Open drains and soak aways must go as their cause disease. - Water – decentralisation and bulk water metering. - Solid waste – shifting of recycling industry to landfill sites / incinerators. - Solar energy options for pumping.

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- Roads and pavements: All roads should have curbs and pavements and should be large enough to walk comfortably no lamp and sign obstructions.

- Use of brick. Lower costs. Local commerce.

- Problems of the financing and implementation of ADPs.

- Support, training to TMAs and line agencies.

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9. Social Infrastructure: Section 4.8  - Cities losing social, cultural, entertainment activities and space for them. - Lots of activities and actors in the cultural and sports drama, both in large and small towns. - People set up libraries, clubs, there are folk festivals, there are poets and performers everywhere. Folk music and story telling. Even in the larger cities.  - There is no support to these activities, no space is built into neighbourhood or sector level development plans for them. - There has been considerable park developments but no playing fields for children.

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 - Large scale pavilions/stadiums have been built but few neighbourhood facilities. In and around shrines, parks, pedestrianised areas in CBDs there should be space for hawkers, hawkers’ bazaars, space for performances, tamashas, book fares. All this is not catered to. It develops in an ad-hoc manner and is persecuted.

 - Older areas have cultural heritage. Awareness for it has to be created among politicians and government officials.

 - Universities have begun conservation courses / para-professionals are required.

 - There is a need for a National Heritage Charter.

 - Metropolitan and city museums.

 - Necessary to identify remove/modify all laws regulations / procedures that prevent the promotion of culture and its various expressions.

- Institutional areas in most towns. Block through traffic through them.

 - Through this a climate of discussion, debate and ideas can generate. Role of universities in this is important.

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10. Housing: Section 4.10 - Huge housing deficit. Poor housing conditions. Little and expensive rentals. Reasons for it. Rent laws and courts. - A number of recommendations. Dr. Noman Ahmed might like to add. - Low income housing can be achieved in the city centres through market based incentives. Financing can be done through cross-subsidies. Correct targeting and controlling speculation. Appropriate changes in HBFC. - Circular railway resettlement / high density through land sharing with developers is possible. - Informal processes such as ISAL can be guided.

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Costs can be lowered/made affordable through higher densities, new planning rules and regulations that guide design.

  • - Make housing climatically comfortable and energy efficient. Training is required for it.
  • - Katchiabadis – social sector infrastructure.
  • - Major issues: Vague land titles, unclear property tax regime, lack of transparency in the real estate business.
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11. Urban Transport (Inter-city and intra-city): Section 4.11 - Most crucial. Its importance for economic, employment, health, education and traffic management and enforcement. - It should take priority over road building and beautification schemes. - Its non-availability must be equalled to the right to mobility which is a fundamental right. - Linkage between landuse planning and transport planning.- Green transport. Take motorbikes for instance – what prevents us from importing / manufacturing them. - The issue of motorbikes. 74% men 62% women want them. - Subsidizing transport. Raise funds for it.

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12. Environment: - Implementation National Environmental Quality standards.- Integrating environmental considerations in Urban Development Plans. - Adopting ENERCON standards / byelaws for building and outdoor environments

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13. Urban Security:- Linked to rich-poor gap in income/access to social sector facilities. - The fact that we are the strategic hinge of the world. - Corruption, extortion in providing, operating and maintaining facilities. The causes for it have to be removed. - Unmet middle class aspirations. - VIP culture

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14. Terrible state of public spaces and civic architecture. Task Force feels that the architects and planners have to play a role.
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15. Broad Conclusions: - Urban governance and the recommendations.  - Recognition of the role and importance of urbanism in the development of the national economy, culture and society. - Formalisation and regulation of urban property markets. - Repeal of laws, byelaws and zoning regulations that suppress real estate development.  - Promotion of public transport and inner-city connectivity.  - Promotion of high density and mixed use zoning.

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Ending of use of Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for purposes of housing.

  • - Enforcement of city limits.
  • - Promotion of quality public spaces.
  • - Affordable and appropriately located housing for low and lower middle income groups.