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A slightly abnormal rainfall often paralyses the roads and public utilities of the city. The minimum humidity level in Karachi particularly near the shore is about 50 per cent practically throughout the year. The annual range is from 50 per cent December is the driest month to 85 per cent August is the moistest month. Average wind velocity in winter is By the end of June or July, monsoon winds pass through the metropolis and its surroundings and increase the speed of the local winds up to 19 km per hour. The sea breeze makes the evenings of Karachi pleasant and nights cooler. The moderate climate of Karachi in the midst of the scorching heat of the interior of the Sindh province has played a major role in the making this city as the most habitable place in Pakistan.

The favorable climate attracted economic activities which, in turn, attracted people from all parts of Pakistan. Karachi has the highest incoming migration rate in Pakistan. Historical Background The character of Karachi as the early settlement of pre-historic man is not well known and poorly documented.


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Nevertheless, its modest origin as the Karachi bundar port appears have been an important shipping area on the northern coast of the Arabian Sea in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century handling trade between the western coast of the subcontinent, all the way from Gujarat to Malabar and sea facing West Asian countries like Persia, Arabia, etc. Around , the local merchants and ship owners found that the entrance into the port from the sea was silting up. Some of these merchants under the leadership of Bhojoomal, an enterprising Hindu businessman, who, by the age of 20, had already developed his own widespread business network, set out looking for an alternative site and they found a acre high ground north of Karachi Bay the present site and decided to shift their activities there.

They built a 16 feet high timber- reinforced mud-wall to protect the ground. They called it Bandargarh. There were two gates to enter the mud-wall fort; the one facing the sea was called Kharadar Khara Dwar or salt gate, and the other facing the Layari River was called Mithadar Mitha Dwar or sweet gate. The present Mithadar and Kharadar localities of the old city commemorate these medieval gates7.

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Karachi, or Kolachi as it was called then, was thus a new settlement but not far away from a number of Hindu, Parsi Zoroastrian , Christian and Muslim places of worship. Among them were the Mahadev temple, the tombs of Abdullah Shah Ghazi and his brother Yousuf Shah, both tenth century sufis, and the twelfth century tomb and monastery of Manghopir.

On the Bath Island are the remains of the sixteenth century capital of Raja Diborai. They used to attract many pilgrims from Sindh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and the western coast of India prior to All these places are now within the metropolitan Karachi. Commercial activities also picked up especially during the American Civil War —65 when Sindh cotton was in great demand in England, but once the Civil War was over, the spurt in cotton exports was over.

By , the line was extended to Punjab and subsequently to other north Indian towns. Almost immediately, the British embarked on the development of perennial irrigation in water thirsty Punjab and Sindh and converted the desert areas into cultivable land and founded one of the largest irrigation network of the world.

Consequently, by , Karachi became the largest exporter of wheat and cotton in India. The opening of the Suez Canal in made Karachi the nearest port of call in India for the European ships. In response to the above-mentioned developments, the population of Karachi, which was almost stagnant during —, doubled during — The newly developed areas of the city were provided with water supply and drainage systems..

In , the population of Karachi was 73, of which 68, lived in the old town.

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Urbanization and Slum Formation

For public transport, steam powered tram services were introduced in , but had to be replaced by horse-drawn carriages in as the residents objected to the noise and dust of steam locomotives. Among the various additions to the city during this period were: Empress Market , D. Science College , and Sindh Madrassah By , the population of the old town decreased to less than 48, As the irrigation systems in the Punjab and Sindh further expanded and railways linked Karachi with more places in the neighbouring provinces, the exports and imports handled by Karachi further increased especially during the First World War — The first airport in British India was constructed in Karachi in In , Sindh was separated from Bombay Presidency; it became a separate Province with Karachi as its capital.

The landlords of the province also built homes in the city and merchants shifted their head offices from Mumbai to Karachi to be near the seat of power. It became a military base to train the troops and collect military intelligence.


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It also functioned as a port of supplies to the Russian front. A number of beautiful buildings were added to the city during —41, all testifying to its growing administrative and commercial importance. Spatial Expansion Karachi has grown nearly 25 times since and is growing at the rate of about 5.

This exponential growth is mainly due to massive immigration from the up country areas to seek employment in both formal and informal sectors of the city economy. The steel, textiles, chemicals, cement, refined petroleum, and processed food industries employ a large number of people. Then there are banks and other commercial establishments. Most of the international trade of Pakistan and landlocked Afghanistan passes through Karachi port. Table 9. Phil thesis, University of Karachi, Pakistan, In , Karachi had a population of about , It is now spread over an area of about sq km.

Housing has been a major problem of the metropolis. It needed new roads, water, and sewage lines, and space for the further development of the then capital city; all these resources were scarce. Employees and Co-operative housing schemes came up after the introduction of two m a j o r satellite towns, Landhi and Korangi to the east and New Karachi to the north of the city. These satellite towns were to be about 25 km away from the city centre. Industrial estate was developed as part of the satellite towns. Between and , the population of Karachi increased by per cent GOP, In the early s, townships like Orangi and Baldia at some distance from the city were developed, which had insufficient infrastructure.

These settlements were to the north and west of the city. The squatter settlements started to develop, making use of the facilities that were actually being offered to the formal settlements However, these facilities were inadequate and the state did not develop policies that provided support to the private sector in transport; nor did it have the finances to build an effective public sector owned transportation system.

During this period, the wholesale markets in the old city were expanding and facing problems of access as the old city consisted of narrow winding roads.

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Those increased activities agglomerated in the old city and overloaded its already fragile infrastructure, and created vertical slums in the middle and lower middle-income suburbs. The katchi abadis, inhabited by migrants from rural areas, sprang up at many places overnight. At the beginning , they consisted of rough-and- tumble construction, but in due course of time, became permanent structures.

These squatter areas are still there and are usually located on hillsides, along railway tracks, near water bodies of Layari and Malir nalahs, and subsequent drains At times, they occupy even valuable pieces of land in the middle of planned neighbourhoods. With the year devolution plan of the government, the spatial expansion of Karachi has been increase at very higher pace. The construction of new highways, bypasses, flyovers, underpasses, and interchanges during the last 11 years has also revived and renewed the green areas of Karachi, sixty new parks have been introduced and old parks were renovated in the vicinity of Karachi City District.

These changes would certainly contribute to the improvement of the environment and quality of life in the city.

However, there are distress signals from several other quarters. Air pollution has increased along with noise pollution. According to the Karachi Development Plan18 there were three major highway projects proposed in the s by the different governments, namely, the Northern Bypass, the Layari Expressway, and the Southern Bypass Coastal Highway.

Its construction from Super Highway to Karachi port has provided another useful corridor for the diversion of heavy traffic. The dilemma associated with Karachi lies in the inability of the planning, development, and maintenance agencies to function efficiently and interactively. Developments have so far been carried out without coordination, proper planning and design exercises.

Population Growth and Distribution Pakistan ranks sixth in the world in terms of the size of population2. It has gone-up to 9.

It was estimated to be 12 million people by As shown in Tables 9. The pre-independence population of Karachi, i. It increased to 1. This inflow was accommodated in the Jhuggies slums around Numaish to Jamshed Road and via vertical expansion in the form of flats and apartments all over the old city. The population of 3. The city had grown to include F.

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The population of 5. The metropolis is estimated to have over 12 million people in —09 Table 9. Administrative Units Population Town 1 Keamari , , 2 SITE , , 3 Baldia , , 4 Orangi , 1,, 5 Layari , , 6 Saddar , , 7 Jamshed , 1,, 8 Gulshan-e-Iqbal , , 9 Shah Faisal , , 10 Landhi , 1,, 11 Korangi , , 12 North Nazimabad , , 13 New Karachi , 1,, 14 Gulberg , , 15 Liaquatabad , , 16 Malir , , 17 Bin Qasim , , 18 Gadap , , 19 Cantonment Board , , 20 AreasKarachi DHA , , Residnetial Area Total 9,, 15,, Source: Karachi Strategic Development Plan — , December Realising the needs of a comprehensive demographic-cum-spatial analysis in the light of the above variables, Jafri29 and Husain30 carried out their studies of the city, but time has outpaced their conclusions.

As is the case with other major cities of the world, population density gradient decreases as one moves away from the inner city3. Saddar Town, 2. Layari Town, 3. Malir Town, and 5 Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town Among the factors re s p o n s i b l e for the spatial concentrations of this kind in Karachi are historical and economic.

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As is the case with urban areas in other developing countries, in Pakistan, about a quarter of the people live below the poverty line. The urban poor of Karachi include population, which has no access to ownership of assets35 and a very large number of households have only one bread earner. In the olden parts of Karachi, the third generation of initial post-independence dwellers still reside. Detailed spectral examination of images, revealed four significant groups of land cover classes.

These groups were further categorised depending upon the sparseness and density of that particular land cover. Image classification produced a value added digital thematic map that contains and itemised account of land covers Table 9. The resultant classified thematic map could be interpreted on the basis of physical geography and expansion of urban land through time caused by the extension of human activities.

The land cover appraisal of larger Karachi division indicated that the major share by area is comprised of hills and barren land Three distinct widespread physiographic features are evident: plain land, coastal zone, and hilly ranges. The plain land covers 2, sq km; 25 per cent of it is covered by urban settlements. It is on the plain land that the metropolis has grown.