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Man’s development has
evolved from caves to skyscrapers, from machete to modern day machinery, from
feet to comfortable cars and from simple well water to complex sanitation and
water supply system of today. Villages slowly gained moment and grew into big cities
and finally into magnanimous cosmopolitan cities of today. Urbanization has
changed the concept of city life forever.

The 20th
Century has witnessed the birth of many cosmopolitan cities and planned cities
as well. Examples of the major cosmopolitan cities of the world include New
York, London, Paris, Mumbai and Karachi. These cities grew slowly overtime and
therefore have a haphazard system of civic amenities and residential patterns.
Slums, traffic congestion and a constant constraint on the infrastructure is a
common feature of these cities. On the other hand there are planned cities such
as Canberra, Brasilia, Putrajaya, and New Delhi. These cities have proper
sanitation and water facilities along with proper road infrastructure which is
supported by their mass transit system. However both these categories of cities
face a common phenomenon – Urban Sprawl.

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Urban
sprawl,
also known as suburban sprawl,
is a complex concept, which includes the spreading outwards of a city and its suburbs to its outskirts to
low-density, auto-dependent
development on rural land. As a result the
sprawl has certain disadvantages, which include long distances to work, high
car dependence, inadequate civic facilities and constraint on the existing
infrastructure. However it also associate a certain advantages to as well such
as affordable housing with more single family residences and effective
infrastructure in new societies which alleviates the standard of living.

The purpose of this research paper is to
analyze the effects of suburban sprawl on the city of Lahore and on the lives
of her residents.

Lahore has
grown rapidly (doubling in size in last ten years) to become an impressive
cosmopolitan metropolitan. From a walled city — Lahore has grown into new
localities like Defence Hosing Society and beyond. Though promenading along the
canal, between the Mall Road and the Jail Road, shining in pristine glory at
night through the heart of city, Main Boulevard or the Mall gives an idea of
architectural style, prosperity and aesthetic sense of its citizens but it does
not give all.

Lahore’s
urban expanse has expanded into adjoining suburbs and has consumed many
villages and agricultural land. The expansion, unplanned at that time, has
converted Lahore into a city where all civic amenities are overburdened left
with no more carrying capacity. And a plethora of city development agencies,
LDA, WASA, TEPA, WAPDA, PTCL, the Lahore Horticultural Authority, the
Cantonment Board, the Model Town Society, the Defence Society, MCL, and District
Administration (and more) with overlapping and ill defined roles and no body to
oversee and coordinate their work, seem helpless to do anything for the
worsening plight of its residents. Alongside these, in 1980, Lahore’s 23 per
cent population lived in katchi abadis
(slum areas). In 1986, the government tried to regulate them and provided
ownership rights and civic amenities to these areas but not all of them could
get them.

So far the
soul of the city has survived though open spaces, greenery and peace are
vanishing from the city. This process can be reversed through planning,
preservation and by looking forward.

 

Problem Statement

In the view of this awakening problem, the study focuses on the
environmental hazards that have resulted due to the urban sprawl that has
sprung in the city of Lahore. The research has been a primary one, conducted
through a questionnaire survey. The results collected from the survey have been
analyzed through graphs and charts on Microsoft Excel. Further information
regarding suburban sprawl has been searched using the internet and going
through various research papers available on the internet.

The questionnaire
prepared was targeting the people living in both the inner Lahore and the
suburbs of Lahore. The questions were designed in a way to infer the
environmental benefits and problems faced by the society because of suburban
sprawl in Lahore. Questions like the types of diseases inflicted because of the
growing congestion and the monthly expenditure for treatment of the diseases
were put forth to analyze the cost associated with the sprawl. Then there was a
question to rate the features an individual takes in consideration while
choosing his or her residence. Through which we could evaluate the benefits
people associate to the sprawl such as their preference towards peaceful
environment while opting for a place to live.

A sample of 310 people
was retrieved and analyzed. It comprised of 61% male and 39% female.
Respondents were mostly students as they were the ones who could clearly
distinguish between the inner Lahore and suburbs of Lahore. English
questionnaire limited the sample to literate citizen of Lahore but through
translating the questionnaire and interacting with illiterates in Punjabi and
Urdu valuable primary information was extracted.

The questionnaire was
circulated in various suburban area of Lahore such as Wapda town, Johar town,
EME housing society, Bahria town and many more. Similarly many towns within the
heart of Lahore were also targeted such as Gulberg, Garden town, Model town and
many more. Explaining people regarding the research being carried out and
convincing them to share their point view were problems faced during the field
research.

 

 

Literature Review & Research
Hypothesis

Suburban sprawl is a natural phenomenon present
in all the major cities of the world. As already mentioned in the introduction
it has its advantages and disadvantages both.

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