Urban and Rural Development


1.1 Importance of the urban sector in housing:

1.1.1 Urban growth in Pakistan: Pakistan’s population increases at the rate of 3 percent per year: 4.4 percent in the urban and 2.6 percent in the rural areas. In 1985, 30.1 percent of the country’s population lived in urban areas. In 1993, 35 percent will be living in urban areas. This means that 270,000 houses will be required per year in the urban sector and 250,000 in the rural sector.

1.1.2 Importance of the urban sector in housing: A second and, in some cases, third generation of slum dwellers is growing up in Pakistan’s urban areas. These people have a high level of awareness, higher literacy rates than the rest of the country, and possess none of the pioneering spirit that brought their families to the urban areas. Differences between the planned areas and the slums are very marked, especially in relation to tenure security and the availability of services. The urban unrest in Karachi, for instance, is attributed by social scientists to these issues. It is felt, therefore, that urban housing should take precedence over rural housing.

1.2 Katchi Abadis:

1.2.1 The growth of katchi abadis: The failure of government policies in making land available to the urban poor has led to the creation of squatter colonies or katchi abadis. At present, 27 percent of Pakistan’s total urban population and 38 percent of Karachi’s population lives in such abadis. The growth rate of katchi abadis is much higher than of government planned areas. For instance, between 1970 and 1985 Karachi’s total growth rate was 4.5 percent per annum as opposed to 7.5 percent for the katchi abadis. In 1970, 23 percent of Karachi’s 3.4 million population lived in katchi abadis. In 1985 this figure had increased to 38 percent of a population of 6.5 million. The regularization of existing and the prevention of the development of new katchi abadis is therefore the most important aspect of housing in Pakistan, requiring immediate attention.

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