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April 14, 2021

Urban planning

Newspost

 
April 14, 2021

With an urban population growing three percent per year, Pakistanis are flocking to cities faster than any other country in South Asia. By 2030, more than half of Pakistan’s projected 250 million citizens are expected to live in cities. The main drivers of Pakistan’s urban growth are high birth rates and migration from rural areas. Migrants are attracted to cities because of better job opportunities and improved access to basic services. However, urbanisation has inflated Pakistan’s biggest cities so rapidly that they struggle to deliver public services and create productive jobs. Urban poverty is on the rise, with one in eight urban dwellers living below the poverty line. As a result, Pakistan’s cities contribute much less to the economy compared to other developing countries. Pakistani cities – inhabited by 38 percent of the population – make up around 55 percent of the total GDP.

Without better urban planning to accommodate rapid growth, cities have the potential to become hotbeds of discontent and unrest instead of being engines of growth and innovation.

Mumraiz Khan

Karachi