Islamabad is the capital city of Pakistan, and is located
in the Potohar Plateau in the northwest of the country.
The area has historically been a part of the crossroads
of the Rawalpindi and the North-West Frontier
Province Islamabad is located at 33°40′N, 73°10′E.
After independence in 1947, Pakistan realized the need
of capital city to serve the new state. Than, Islamabad,
a new capital of Pakistan was conceived in 1959,
planned from 1959 to 1963 by a Greek architectplanner C. A. Doxiadis, and started implementation in
1961. Rawalpindi helped in the development
of Islamabad by providing the access to
existing transport network and by
supplying labour for the development and
accommodating early inhabitants and
offices for Islamabad.
CITY LAYOUT ON GRID IRON PATTERN
The city was conceived into grid-iron patterns developed into 2 kilometers by 2
kilometers sectors segregated by the hierarchy of wide principal roads (60 ft.)
comprising Islamabad and Rawalpindi area. The sectors were used for distinct land
uses such as residential, educational, commercial and administrative. Housing is
provided in grid-iron pattern sectors on disciplined hierarchy of communities
according to their income groups. In the square grid of sectors, four communities
clustered around an enlarged shopping centre. To slow down traffic, shopping
activities were organized in the centre of a larger square settlement.
I. Zone I consists mainly of all the
The city is divided into eight basic zones
developed residential sectors.
II. Zone II consists of the under-developed
Diplomatic Enclave zone;
III. Zone III consists primarily of the Margalla
Hills and Margalla Hills National Park.
Rawal Lake is in this zone.
IV. Zone IV and V consist of Islamabad Park,
and rural areas of the city. The Soan River
flows into the city through Zone V.
DISTRIBUTION OF ROADS
Islamabad is planned according to a system of
communities of various classes, each class comprising
the functions corresponding to its size.
These communities are properly served by a major
transportation system developed within wide corridors of
a grid-iron configuration.
Local and collector low speed roads, wide sidewalks,
pedestrian roads and bicycles lanes within the lower class
“human communities” provide access to the major
The above system of communities and transportation
facilities, contributes to the reduction of travel
distances/times and accidents, and to the promotion of
“green transport” (walking, cycling, public transport).
Types of street or road system used in
Islamabad are rectangular or grid iron street
system the street have equal width and they
cross each other at right angle
The advantage of this system is convenient to
traffic and so a speedy and free traffic can be
The houses are constructed in rectangular
blocks so convenient, economical and most
suited for building construction
There is no wastage of land since no irregular
portion are left out.
But the disadvantages of this system are they don’t provide short cuts which provide a
direct access to trade and shopping centres.
Since islamabad is situated on the plateue the surface is uneven where grid iron
street pattern become inconvenience, discomfort and moreover it become expensive.
PLANNING OF SHAHJAHANABAD
The city was planned according to Hindu planning principles of Shilpashastra from
The site was placed on a high land as in the Shastras and was Karmukha or bow
shaped, for this ensured its prosperity.
The arm of the archer was Chandni Chowk
The string was Yamuna.
The junction of the two main axes is the most auspicious point in the whole region
and was therefore the Red Fort.
The designed infrastructure of Shahjahanabad comprised
•The Friday mosque
•The other major mosques.
•The bazaars around the Friday mosque
•The elaborate system of water channels
•The major gardens and the surrounding city wall.
Masjid Fatehpuri, Masjid Akbarabadi, Masjid Sirhindi, Masjid Aurangabadi, Zinatal-Masjid, Sunahri Masjid, Masjid Sharif-ad-Daulah, Fakhr-al-Masjid.
They were located next to the two main lines of communication which subdivided
Second in rank to the Jama Masjid was the Fatehpuri Masjid
Secondary mosques were the mahallas mosques :•Numbering about 200 in Shahjahanabad.
•These mosques often bear the name of their founders and they are mostly
located on ‘secondary streets’.
•They were at the bottom of the hierarchy and lay scattered all over the city.
•They served the people in the immediate vicinity and were built by
prominent or wealthy residents of the respective Mahallah or by guilds of
the merchants or artisans.