Consultation round two for the Lahore division master plan. The second round of consultation on the Master Plan of Lahore Division-2050 has begun with public notices and hearings. The goal is to get more useful and sensible ideas from the general public.
Dawn has learned that in the first round, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and other interested parties held four public hearings in Lahore and one each in Kasur, Sheikhupura, and Nankana Sahib. They also put out public notices asking for suggestions on the master plan.
“We have started a new round of consultations on the draught master plan for 2050 by putting out a public notice inviting the public as a whole to give us their best ideas, which we will then use in the plan. We sent out the first notice about 20 days ago, and people have given us more than 20 suggestions or observations through the LDA’s one-window operations, an officer who is keeping an eye on the situation told on Sunday.
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“We have also decided to send out a few more public notices to get more feedback from the public. In the same way, public hearings are going to be held in Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura, and Nankana Sahib in the near future to try to get everyone to agree on something.
In the next 28 years, the population of the provincial metropolitan area is expected to grow by 12.6 million, according to the draught master plan for 2050. For this reason, it has been suggested that housing and accommodations be made for about 9 million people within the administrative boundaries of Lahore city district and for the other 3.6 million people outside of it.
“The planning policies that were used to make the master plan say that about nine million of the 12.6 million people who are expected to live there will be able to live within the administrative boundaries of the Lahore district, with very little room for horizontal growth next to existing urban areas. Since any more population changes will hurt the green areas of the Lahore district, the plan says that the remaining 3.6 million people will be housed north of the administrative boundary of the Lahore district.
It says that future development in Lahore and the districts of Kasur, Nankana Sahib, and Sheikhupura will be in line with government policies at the national and provincial levels. Because of this, the LDA has approved the proposed planning policies/scenarios in principle, but only on the condition that all future actions will be taken in accordance with the law, rules, and policies in place and in consultation with all parties involved.
It says that a detailed land-use survey was done using high-resolution satellite images and field visits to meet the requirements of sub-rule 5(a) of LDA Master Plan Rules 2014. Using questionnaires, sample household surveys were done all over the Lahore division to get up-to-date information about population, housing, social services, the environment, transportation, etc.
For the transport sector, previous studies, especially those done by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), were looked over, and different types of surveys were done, such as manual classified counts, roadside interviews/cordon surveys, journey time/speed surveys, road inventory surveys, public transport user interview surveys, passenger interview surveys, parking studies, etc.
It plans to create jobs and boost economic growth, which is important because Lahore is the financial and economic center of Punjab. In order to achieve a balanced economy, the master plan’s key strategic economic development goals focus on the 6 E’s: encouraging SMEs and entrepreneurship, making the circular economy possible, attracting private investors, making infrastructure more reliable, taking advantage of local opportunities and supporting them, and giving young people, women, and people with disabilities more power.
Using the modern idea of neighborhood planning, it suggests a more even distribution of facilities to make them easier for all residents to reach and to cut down on the need to travel, which would help lessen traffic. Densification and mixed-use development along structure plan roads are two of the ways that zoning is done. This is because many residential areas of the Lahore district, especially in the south, have low population densities, and the master plan has found large areas where densities can be increased without lowering the quality of life for residents. It proposes a buffer zone of about 500 metres next to each structure’s road context and existing buildings, such as institutions, social facilities, cemeteries, and parks. Within this buffer zone, commercial, business, and apartment buildings can be built in different amounts depending on where they are.
On some roads, like the Canal Road or parts of The Mall, no densification measures are recommended. Instead, only interventions in the public realm are suggested. The 500m buffer zone is based on the amount of time it would take to walk to the bus lines and stations that are planned to be built along the main structure roads. This will make it easier to get around and give people access to transportation options other than private cars.
The plan also says that informal areas should be divided into neighborhoods with about 10,000 people. These neighborhoods will have community centers, shops, and services to meet the daily needs of residents.
Officials say that the LDA team is busy right now looking at the suggestions, recommendations, and other comments that people sent in in response to the public notice. “It will take about a week to think about these ideas. And if all or some of them work out, we’ll add them to the draught master plan. In the same way, we’ll look at any suggestions or comments we get at future public hearings or through public notices,” he said.
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