Pedestrianizing and Reclaiming the Historic Core of Lahore City

Lahore, the second-most populous city of Pakistan[1] after Karachi, has been facing serious challenges in its the historic core that could threaten it's survival for the future generation. The high level of deterioration of buildings, combined with encroachment and informal business being carried out by the residents has led to a significant loss of character. To remove encroachment in and around the heritage sites and revive the older part of the city the urban unit conducted a study to minimize the cultural gap between the built environment and old architecture through proposing urbanized public spaces, especially for students and tourists. It will also make the pedestrian-friendly area for locals by preserving the architectural individuality of the historical city that reveals the harmonious unanimity and strong bonding of the culture with people.
Area of Focus
The study area has been divided into nine districts that begin from the Tollinton Market, Lahore museum, encompasses all the important heritage and religious buildings, such as the Data Darbar and Karbala Gamay Shah, going all the way north to Badshahi Mosque, Greater Iqbal Park and Lahore Fort. These districts have been categorized based on the particular characteristics of the area and the photograph below shows one of the identified districts.
Data Darbar and Circulation garden

Issues identified in the project area
The key problems in these areas are:
1. Traffic Congestion, No public amenities
2. Tourist pockets developed in silos
3. No/less parking facilities
4. Restricted walkability for pedestrians
5. Market places in dilapidated condition
6. Fragmented Public space
7. Safety and Security issues around
8. Scarcity of appropriate public spaces
9. Encroachments on Public land
10. No holistic development plan
11. Nonpedestrian – un-walkable

Traffic Problems Encroachment
Aim and Objective of the Study

  • To envisage a clear and simple development pattern in the city;
  • A continuously built form street frontage is needed throughout an area to allow users to easily understand where the purpose of the street should be mentioned;
  • A compact urban form, a legible urban structure, pedestrian priority should be ensured;
  • The built form and streetscape treatments should provide an attractive, safe and comfortable pedestrian environment;
  • A built form that is transit and pedestrian-oriented ensures an area has maximum convenience for movement;
  • Maintain the overall visual cohesiveness of the area. This can be achieved through a variety of design responses.

Design process
The four-step design process for the project includes re-document, re-design, re-create, and rethink.

  • Re-Document: Heritage Buildings, Transportation networks, Land ownership data, Encroachments, Market places
  • Re-Design: Parking Areas(On-ground and above ground), Wayfinding and signage, Pedestrian walkways, Souvenir shops, Traditional marketplaces and Restaurants, and Hotels.
  • Re-Create: Public Realm Tourist flows, Pedestrian Market Places, Historic District and Lost Public Spaces
  • Re-Think: The User, The Human Scale, Public Spaces, Public Amenities, Tourist Narrative.

Note: All the interventions in the identified districts have been proposed by critically reviewing the literature dealing with the reclaiming of historic cities from the theoretical and practical aspects by highlighting they're urban design applications[2]
Way Forward
To achieve the aim of the study, the urban unit will develop;

  • Package development as per districts,
  • Development of project documents and working papers
  • TOR development for each package, including Historic analysis of land use, Active and passive zoning, Consultation with sectors involved Expert consultations in the field of Urban Planning and Architecture, Conceptual designs, Phase wise developments and project Proposal and documentation.
  • Visual analysis of the proposed design, cost estimation, and Compendium for the whole timeline.

File:Pedestrianizing and Reclaiming the Historic Core of Lahore City.pdf