Lahore Conservation in the wake of hyper-infrastructure development

Creator: hbs. All rights reserved.

The provincial level resource equity dialogs were initiated based on the recommendations from the Federal level dialog on resource equity. The topic for each dialog at provincial level was selected around the water, land and energy nexus which was defined through the federal level dialog. The framework of each dialog was set around hbs’s resource equity memo-“Resource Politics for a Fair Future”, so that the participants could be introduced to the global debate on resource equity.  Province specific ecological case studies were also shared based on the book titled “Water in the Wilderness” to create a wider understanding about the basic ecological landscape of the province.

The Lahore dialog was held on 20th December 2016. The dialog was based on the issue of urban development with infrastructure projects in Lahore that are having a toll on the resources equity and also the cultural heritage of the city. The main question raised by the experts includes the following;

  • After 10 or more years of successful civil society action and litigation in Lahore, how can urban activism for equitable development be sustained, expanded and institutionalized to protect Lahore from non-sustainability and hyper-development that will render the city unlivable?

The Group’s Aspirations

  1. A new phase of the Lahore Conservation Society (LCS) from a reactive social movement to a more proactive one is the next logical step in sustaining urban activism.
  2. A deepening of the connection within the movement is needed through engagement with a wider sphere of stakeholders from different socio-economic backgrounds.
  3. More research into the meanings and trade-off involved in the debate related to urban conservation versus development through various activities such as dialogues, school excursions, school book curriculum.
  4. Technical research into what constitutes the heritage, both tangible and intangible, of Lahore city, as well as conservation issues including language, culture etc. would help broaden the scope of the movement from expert based urban architecture and town planning approaches into wider socio-cultural identity which constitute the spirit and future of Lahore as a center of civilization.
  5. The organizational structure of LCS must now be somewhat more formalized with fund-raising and the establishment of a small paid secretariat. The core of the LCS will be protected and nurtured inside a small think tank, and many other related civil society efforts related to the conservation of Lahore will be assisted and co-opted into the aegis of LCS.
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