Reshaping Pakistan’s Urban Landscape

The PRIME INSTITUTE and the Islamabad Chambers of Commerce and Industries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, under which both bodies will work together to improve the state of governance in Pakistan’s capital city.

The venture, known as the Metropolitan Commerce Unit is creating policy research and facilitate efforts between local institutions to build a foundation for local level led growth and human development. One of the first tasks assigned to the Commerce unit is the economic mapping of Islamabad city, a research effort which is expected to substantially enhance the planning capacity and productivity potential of Islamabad city, supplementing the efforts of the Islamabad Municipal Corporation, the Capital Development Authority, and the Islamabad Mayor’s office. This venture was made possible through the vision of PRIME Institute Director Mr. Zia Banday, and Islamabad Chamber’s President Amir Waheed.

In addition to the capital, PRIME is also close to finalizing a similar venture with the Mayor’s office in Quetta. PRIME Institute in April published, “The Metropolitan Competitiveness Index”, a quantitative analysis of the state of economic dynamism, infrastructure development and livability of Pakistan’s Federal and provincial capitals. Quetta was identified as having one of the most fragile and least productive economies. Building a strong base for local development is therefore critical to resolving issues plaguing the city. Here, the vision of the Deputy Mayor Yonis Khan and Dr. Kaleemullah Kakar is truly commendable, as both want to develop a foundation for strong local level growth in Quetta City.

At the provincial level, Sarhad Chambers of Commerce and Industries has also now stepped up to the plate. Talks are underway to formalize the relationship and to form a Commerce Unit for Peshawar City. Initial meetings with SCCI President Zahid Shinwari proved very encouraging and indicative of the intent of the Sarhad Chamber to commit to local development for the long haul.

In the coming months, PRIME will engage with the local institutions of Peshawar, Islamabad, and Lahore to develop city-specific development visions. These visions would map the path of development and governance in these cities for the next decade. The Metropolitan Competitiveness index 2019 will rank 11 cities in total, expanding the list to include all major cities of Pakistan which have a population of more than 10 Million.

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