Feasibility Study of New Economic City
An increase in urbanization has overburdened the existing cities specifically in the province of Punjab. Yet urbanization offers various opportunities for economic growth. Realizing this, the Government of Punjab has initiated the development of a new urban industrial agglomeration in Punjab on world-class standards. Initially, a site was selected for the development of a new city along the Motorway (M2) corridor near Lillah interchange. The proposed city would have the largest industrial cluster in the country with high-end supportive urban infrastructure and house around 2 million inhabitants, offering them diverse work-live-leisure opportunities. However, during the course of project planning and deliberations, it was decided by the Government of Punjab to not only specifically look at one site on the M2 but also determine the potential of other competitive sites as well on which a New City could be developed. For this, initially, a pre-feasibility was carried out in 2016 by an international consulting firm (Frost & Sullivan) with an objective to prioritize the potential sites for the development of a New City in Punjab.
Pre-Feasibility: Phase 1 Market Demand Analysis
Pre-Feasibility: Phase 2 NEC Site Selection Report
Pre-Feasibility: Phase 3 Proposed Implementation, Financial Model and Expected Impacts
A broad-level scan was conducted across the province of Punjab to identify sites that may be suitable for the development of an NEC. Initially, 12 sites were preliminarily selected in Phase 1 by considering land, transportation links, population nodes, water sources, and the availability of raw material, etc. Phase 2 further shortlisted the following 4 sites (maps attached below) based on basic economic and social parameters:
2. Pindi Bhattian
Following the pre-feasibility study, The Urban Unit conducted a detailed feasibility study to determine the final site for the New Economic City. The core objective of this entire project is to create a New City to relieve the pressure of urbanization and reap the benefits of existing intermediate cities and towns. The expected result is to have a model city for Pakistan that is properly planned and managed, benefits the residents and neighboring populations and adds value to the GDP of Punjab and Pakistan.
A rapid assessment of the four sites was carried out using a refined Site Selection Criteria (SSC) for benchmarking. For this purpose, the site visits conducted by the Urban Unit team involved observing the terrain, general soil characteristics, sources of livelihood, land use and connectivity patterns, etc. in order to determine the potential for future development. A sensitivity analysis was also conducted, and two scenarios were created with varying scores and sub-weights for different indicators resulting in slightly different results. The assessment has resulted in identifying the top two sites, Gujrat and Pindi Bhattian, which both have the highest and very close scores.
It must be noted that the exact city boundary will be demarcated after the geotechnical studies for the identification of soil and land suitable for development. Current rapid assessment studies to select the final site were based on the boundaries demarcated by Frost and a 50 KM buffer to assess the influence of the surrounding areas.
PROPOSED CITY DENSITY
Based on the literature review and consultative session with Urbanist, the proposed density of residential land use zones is between 35,000 to 40,000. With the broad and preliminary zoning of land uses, 40% of the city area has been allocated to residential use and remaining to industrial, commercial, open spaces and circulation, etc.
The spatial planning of NEC will need initial primary surveys, sector studies and assessments, conceptual planning, master planning and design.
1. The Urban Unit will float an EOI and RFP for technical engineering and geotechnical studies to assess following parameters:
- Soil suitability
- Geological and geotechnical analysis
- Climate & disaster risk assessment
- Hydrological & drainage assessment
2. Subsequent to that, The Urban Unit will carry out conceptual planning for the final selected sites in addition to identifying the precise city limits and growth boundaries in phases of planning and development. The following components have been identified:
- Preliminary land subdivision and zoning
- Broad governance and institutional structure
- Land use plan
- Connectivity plan
- Municipal services management plan
- Implementation outline
- Preliminary financing and economic structure proposal
3. The last stage of this project is the master planning and engineering design of the NEC. The working arrangement will be determined in due course, of whether the Urban Unit will seek a consultant, outsource certain sections or perform the entire master planning exercise in-house. Key projects will need to be identified with respective costing and design.
The following sector plans have been identified for the NEC master planning exercise:
Land use development and management plan, Transportation and connectivity plan, Housing typology, Governance and administrative plan, Waste management plan, Disaster management plan, Conservation and recreation plan, Municipal services management plan, Water management and distribution plan, Energy generation, management, and distribution plan, Urban design guidelines, Economic development, IE and SEZ plan, City investment plan, Implementation (administrative and governance) plan, revisions, and review