62pc Karachiites live in informal settlements, lack quality transport

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Urban planning of old cities like Karachi is a complex issue and an integrated approach should be adopted by combining the engineering aspects of settlements and social aspects of the masses, shared a speaker at a conference at NED University’s city campus.

The 6th International Conference on Urban and Regional Planning was organised by the university’s department of architecture and planning.

The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Urban Poor and Cities’. Speaking at the event, researcher Amal Hashim said: “The country’s largest city, with an official population of 16.5 million people, has 62 per cent of its citizens living in informal settlements where they face a host of issues ranging from lack of transport to quality education and healthcare.” She was giving a presentation on her study about urban challenges in Karachi from the perspective of poor communities.

The study discussed the perceptions, needs, and requirements of the poor in Karachi as articulated by themselves and examined how their problems impacted low-income families.

“It is important to find out what this population seeks from the city they live in. Better transport, housing, health, and education facilities seem to be top priorities. But, what are the obstacles they face in their day to day lives? “Additionally, it is crucial how various groups of people define poverty and why they consider themselves to be poor,” she said.

In his remarks, Dr Mouhammad Tufail, pro-vice chancellor of the NED University, said urban planning, particularly of old cities like Karachi, was a complex issue and an integrated approach should be adopted by combining its engineering and social aspects.

 

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