Tlp ravi forum

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Tlp ravi forum

  1. 1. Ravi Riverfront The Lahore Project (TLP) Monthly Discussion Forum Dated: 11th Sept. 2013 Kamil Khan Mumtaz ACriticalReviewonLDA’sPlan,&TLP’sStand
  2. 2. The Urban Sector Planning and Management Services Unit, Pvt. Ltd (the Urban Unit) is a company of the Government of Punjab. The Urban Unit, on behalf of Lahore Development Authority (LDA), is inviting reputable international firms (consortium/joint ventures) to submit Expressions of Interest (EOI) for the “Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project” River Ravi Urban Development Project
  3. 3. 1. A major cleanup of the Ravi including provisions for wastewater / sewage treatment. 2. Development of flood containment area and to cater to different levels of flood scenarios. 3. River channelization for an estimated length of 33 KM. 4. Master plan for riverfront and urban development including residential, commercial, academic, recreational, mixed use and light industrial zones. 5. Master plan for all public infrastructure and services including transport and utility. 6. Establishment of institutional and regulatory frameworks to govern and manage the new riverfront urban development. Scope of the Proposed Project
  4. 4. Lahore Conservation Society Position on the Project This is an amazing project, in both a positive and negative sense. Positive, because some aspects are consistent with much of the deliberations, findings and proposals of the Ravi River Commission set up by the Lahore High Court Green Bench, as well as our own deliberations in The Lahore Project (TLP). But negative, because in other respects it is another potential mega-disaster by design!
  5. 5. 1. A major cleanup of the Ravi including provisions for wastewater / sewage treatment. 2. Development of flood containment area and to cater to different levels of flood scenarios. 3. River channelization for an estimated length of 33 KM The Good News • The Conservation Society supports cleaning of the river; • Using its potential as a key element in the water cycle, (source, supply, treatment and re- cycling); • Training and developing the flood plain for water storage lakes, treatment ponds, wetland ecology and flood control; • Creating a large nature reserve and recreational facility; and • Developing a rich resource for food and timber.
  6. 6. This is just one more in the series of opportunistic development projects that have “over the years” … resulted in the viability of various appropriate planning initiatives “being compromised in the long run.” 4. Master plan for riverfront and urban development including residential, commercial, academic, recreational, mixed use and light industrial zones. 5. Master plan for all public infrastructure and services including transport and utility. 6. Establishment of institutional and regulatory frameworks to govern and manage the new riverfront urban development. The Bad News
  7. 7. The standard operating procedure is that global finance capital, in the form of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) or corporate business investors, identify a lucrative investment opportunity (usually public and environmental assets such as forest reserve, ocean coast, railways, canals, village commons (shamlaat), or historic town. They put together a “project” which includes public/sovereign guarantees for payments of investor‟s profits. The poisonous pill is then sugar-coated with mouth-watering catch-phrases and „sold‟ to the government and the public in attractive packaging including sustainability, poverty alleviation, income generation, foreign investment, progress, development, economic growth, public/private partnership and the like. These mega-projects produce mega-bucks for consultants, contractors, financiers and corporate business, but result in mega-disasters for the environment and the effected populations. As Pakistan‟s leading urban planner Arif Hassan has said, There is no longer any such thing as “Planning”, we only have “projects”.
  8. 8. Canal widening project was „sold‟ under the cover of reduction of traffic congestion and pollution, but actually resulted in cutting of hundreds of trees, increase in traffic volumes with its concomitant pollution and the destruction of a unique environmental asset of the city, making what was left of it inaccessible to the citizens;
  9. 9. Rapid Bus Transport project was „sold‟ under the cover of public transport, but actually resulted in a mega- construction of an aerial motorway, that divided well integrated neighborhoods, destroyed the view of numerous historic buildings, deprived social infrastructure sectors like health and education of urgently needed funds. The city already had a road network with adequate capacity. It needed better traffic management and replacement of private motor vehicles with buses. It got an aerial motorway instead. The cost of which could have bought enough buses to meet the needs of not only the city but of the entire province;
  10. 10. Walled City Project was „sold‟ under the cover of poverty alleviation, income generation, sustainable development and heritage conservation, but has actually resulted in inflated property values, a land grab mafia, depopulation, and loss of culturally valuable properties, which are being replaced by warehouses, plazas, boutique hotels and up-market catering establishments;
  11. 11. Lahore Cantonment Housing Society „sold‟ as a welfare scheme for retired army officers, has actually morphed into the Defense Housing Authority that has dispensed with the fig leaf of serving any defense needs, and gone way beyond the Cantonment Area into unabashed real estate development that has transformed huge chunks of green agricultural land use into high-end urban development, in violation of all „master planning‟ provisions for the city; displacing rural populations and cordoning off entire village settlements that have refused to abandon their homes;
  12. 12. Our (TLP) studies have shown conclusively that there is no need to expand the urban area of Lahore. There is more than enough space and invested infrastructure capacity in the existing developed urban area to accommodate the projected doubling of the population over the next 25 years!
  13. 13. The realities of economic life are that most of the wealth of the region (62%) is accumulated in the city. But instead of a better quality of life for most of the citizens this has produced: • Acute income disparity (80% of households below poverty level i.e. $2 per person per day); • High unemployment (>27% of working population, 99% of female resident population); • Environmental degradation; • Conversion of green, agricultural and other „open‟ land into high-end urban developments;
  14. 14. Majority of developed urban land (90%) comprises low-density (less than 150 persons per hectare), for the rich minority (42% of the population), while the poor (58 % of the population) are crammed into a tiny proportion of the urban area (10%), at densities over a thousand persons per hectare.
  15. 15. To “boost the economic life” of the people we do not need “state-of-art urban development projects providing housing units … buildings and modern commercial centers”. We need a radical shift in our planning strategies and priorities including the following:
  16. 16. Taxation of non-essential consumption and investment of revenues in social infrastructure. This will: -reduce income disparities; -provide better quality of life; and -reduce unemployment; •Organic farming and artisanal manufacture. This will: -reduce unemployment; -improve balance of payments; -produce healthier food; -reduce of environmental degradation; -result in 100% recycling; and -zero waste •Pedestrian circulation. This will: -Reduce motor vehicle traffic; -Reduce traffic accidents; -Reduce noise and air pollution; -Reduce dependence on non-renewable energy; -Save foreign exchange; -Permit higher densities; -Provide space for social infrastructure including recreation; -Provide for better community integration; •Equitable utilization of urban resources including land and invested infrastructure. This will: -Rationalize urban densities; -create space for social infrastructure (education, health, recreation etc.) in high density areas; and -optimize utilization of surplus capacity in low-density areas; •Control of urban expansion. This will: -Conserve green areas including agriculture, forests and water bodies; -Reduce utility infrastructure costs; Strategies & Proposals (From The Lahore Project Team)

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