City Clusters along Rawalpindi Ring Road

Introduction
The Rawalpindi Development Authority RDA intends to construct a Rawalpindi Ring Road and adjoining link roads in Rawalpindi from Rawat to Islamabad International Airport. According to the RDA, the project will reduce traffic congestion and delays, trip time, and accidents while providing an alternate by-pass for Rawalpindi city. It is also expected that the construction of major roads and urban corridors, such as a ring road, brings enormous economic and development opportunities. Not only do land values increase in response to such projects, but these projects also act as catalysts for future development. The total length of the ring road will be 58km starting from Banth road on GT road and end at the Thalian Motorway Interchange.

Road Length (KM)
Main Ring Road 38.4
Rawat Link road 12.5
Rehabilitation of Fateh Jang Road 7.1
Total Rawalpindi Ring Road 58

The Rawalpindi Ring Road will provide an opportunity to streamline future development while improving connectivity. Hence, it is essential to utilize it to it's maximum potential through proactive planning. This can be done by adopting a responsive land use planning approach such as developing city clusters along the interchanges of the ring road.
Proposed Ring Road Alignment
City Clusters
City Clusters can be defined as a group of well-connected cities in a certain geographic region that are linked to each other by interdependencies in providing products and services. The concept of City Cluster Development (CCD) is gaining more and more popular among urban planners across the world. City Cluster Development is an approach by which a number of cities are linked together spatially and functionally to form an integrated urban region to promote economic growth. The extended urban region thus formed is defined by it's economic, social, and spatial influence rather then it's administrative jurisdiction. CCD approach of urban development is more geared towards encompassing urbanization rather then the urban areas alone. It takes into account the benefits of economies of scale in the extended urban region and hence, increases the intensity of economic activity in the overall region. City clusters emerge in the urban field that extends from the core of major cities to an outward distance of approximately 100 km. This urban field contains the city’s airport, water and sewerage treatment facilities, industrial estates, recreation areas, power plants, suburban areas, and existing smaller cities, all of which support the functioning of the major cities[1]
Benefits of City Clusters along Ring Roads

• Increased land value
• Proactive land use planning
• Innovative and efficient use of land
• Maximum utilization of ring road
• Decongestion in the city
• Land Value Capture
• Employment generation
• Economic and tax benefits
Proposed City Clusters

The Urban Unit is proposing a range of specialized city clusters along the interchanges of Rawalpindi Ring Road keeping in view the needs of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad region. After critically evaluating the proposed route and interchanges of the Rawalpindi Ring Road from the PC-II revised in 2018, the Urban Unit has proposed seven innovative city clusters along the proposed five interchanges. Each of these city clusters will have its own unique identity catering to the needs of a specific group of otherwise unserved population.

  1. Cluster A: Rawalpindi Logistics City
  2. Cluster B: Mixed-use Zone
  3. Cluster C: Healthcare City
  4. Cluster D: Education City
  5. Cluster E: Resort Town
  6. Cluster F: IT Park
  7. Cluster G: International Logistics City

Way Forward
Moving forward, the Urban Unit recommends that the government must acquire land for the development of these city clusters along each interchange of the Rawalpindi Ring Road as soon as it's alignment is finalized. The proactive acquisition will avoid the risk of all land being utilized for housing schemes which benefit a few. In addition to that, the land use and area of each city cluster must be notified. For this, it is recommended to demarcate approximately 1,500 acres for master planning, land use planning, and zoning but initially acquire 400-500 acres of land for the development of these city clusters. The proposed city clusters will be developed on a public-private partnership model. The acquired parcels of land will be auctioned to local or foreign private developers to develop each specialized city cluster as per international standards. The remaining development will be in accordance with the land use, zoning, and master plan.

File:City Clusters along Rawalpindi Ring Road.docx.pdf

References