Restoration & Upgradation of Mall Road Murree

Murree was founded in 1851 by the Governor of Punjab, Sir Henry Lawrence. It was originally established as a sanatorium for British troops stationed on the Afghan frontier. The permanent town of Murree was constructed around Sunny Bank in 1853. The town’s church was sanctified in May 1857 and the main road, named the Mall, was built. With the constructions of the town’s General Post Office (GPO) and an array of shops and restaurants, the Mall served as the focal point of urban activity in Murree.

Although Murree is well known across the country as a tourist hotspot, however it has also gained a reputation over the years for having become overcrowded and poorly maintained. Mall Road was once a pleasant promenade flanked by buildings with a unifying architectural style over the time devolved into a commercial thoroughfare teeming with unsightly trappings of modernist development.

The buildings on Mall Road Murree were dilapidating, overrun with unattractive advertisements, signage and wires and have lost much of their original charm. Mall Road which was previously designated a pedestrian-only zone was currently more equipped for traffic than pedestrians. Similarly the drainage infrastructure that existed mostly in the form of grills fitted into the ground between the roads and storefront remain filled with solid waste throughout the year obstructing the flow of water and looks unattractive. Tangles of telephone and electricity wires are visible form every step of the streets and accumulate shabbily at transformer units not only destroying area’s aesthetics but also becoming a hazard for pedestrians.

Restoration & Upgradation of Mall Road Murree Project was carried out by Urban Sector Planning & Management Services Unit (The Urban Unit) as part of the government program for the beautification of Murree. The project was designed to preserve and highlight the historical character of the Murree Mall and safeguard it against decay in the future with following objectives: • Restoration and preservation of the Mall's historic buildings facades to reflect the aesthetics of old Murree • Transformation of facades of the modern buildings to echo the same historical aesthetics • Development of high quality, user friendly pedestrian, public spaces and facilities • Development and refinement of green spaces

Under the project the façades of historic buildings located on Mall Road were restored and preserved to reflect the aesthetics of old Murree. Similarly the modern buildings facades were transformed to echo the same historical aesthetics. Similarly public spaces were developed on Mall Road to provide sitting and breathing space to pedestrians by opening up and redesign of currently enclosed non-accessible Nighat Zar Park and adjacent enclosed space to pedestrians to improve the capacity of Mall Road. The surface of the road was repaved with tuff tiles and cobblestone to make it a pedestrian friendly zone. In addition, the existing drainage infrastructure of Mall Road was also improved to improve the aesthetics of the area, enable the easier passage of tourists and improve the capacity of the space to withstand the elements and heavy commercial use.