Residents’ Perception and Analysis of the Contemporary Neighbourhood Design Practices in Lahore, Pakistan

Obaidullah Nadeem, Rizwan Hameed, S. Shabih-ul-Hassan Zaidi, Humaira Tabassum, Sajjad Haydar, Husnain Haider


Neighbourhood design has been of special interest to the Planners and allied professionals since long. Review of the relevant literature revealed persistent debate on its size and design concepts. In the pursuit of designs for comfortable, safe and environment friendly living, the contemporary designers have presented various concepts. This paper first explores the most frequently suggested neighbourhood design features and develops a list of 21 design features locally considered as important to influence the perception of residents. It then analyzes the contemporary residential neighbourhood design practices in Lahore Pakistan using eight randomly selected neighbourhoods and questionnaire survey of nearly four hundred residents. The study finds that whilst a mix of gridiron and rectilinear patterns somewhat akin to traditional street design is in vogue in Lahore, a majority of residents is satisfied with many of the design features. However, there is a need to enhance the provisions for social interaction and safe movement of pedestrians. Further, consultations with all the stakeholders are necessary to develop a locally suitable neighbourhood design concept. Findings of this study also suggest that high level of satisfaction of the residents can be achieved more with meeting their expectations even by providing low density land sub-divisions. Consideration of prospective residents’ socio-economic background and nature of development in their areas of origin are more important than simply following the design features trumpeted in the literature as good neighbourhood designs.

Full Text:



Alshuwaikhat, H. M. (1999). Planning the 21st century urban neighbourhood: Learning from previous concepts. Journal of King Saud University Architecture & Planning,11, 13-29.

Barclay, C. (2011). Eco towns. Standard note: SN/SC/4406. London: House of Commons Library. Retrieved August 1, 2011, from:

Berk, MG. (2005, October). Concept of neighbourhood in contemporary residential environments: An investigation of occupants’ perception. Paper presented at the International Conference on Doing, Thinking, Feeling Home, Delft, The Netherlands.

BoS/GoPb. (2011). Punjab development statistics 2011. Lahore: Bureau of Statistics, Government of the Punjab.

Bramley, G. & Power, S. (2009). Urban form and social sustainability: the role of density and housing type. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 36, 30-48.

Broadbent, G. (1990). Emerging concepts in urban space design. London: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

Burke, G. (1971). Towns in the making. London: Edward Arnold.

C & LG. (2009). Planning policy statement: eco-towns- A supplement to planning policy statement 1. London: Communities and Local Government, Retrieved August 1. 2011, from lanningandbuilding/pps-ecotowns

Dave, S. (2011). Neighbourhood density and social sustainability in cities of developing countries. Sustainable Development, 19, 189- 205.

Talen, E (2002). Pedestrian access as a measure of urban quality, Planning Practice and Research, 17, 257-278.

Gatti, RF. (1969). Thoughts on Radburn: The town for motor age. The Radburn Association. Retrieved August 15, 2011, from

Gindroz, R. et al. (2003). The urban design handbook: Techniques and working methods. New York: W .W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Hass-Kalau C., Nold I., Bocker G., Crampton G. (1992). Civilized street: A guide to traffic calming. Brighton: Environmental and Transport Planning.

Iqbal, S. (2006, August). Presentation on national housing policy-2001. Presented at 2nd Build Asia International Exhibition & ICCI Conference, Karachi, Retrieved September 6, 2011, from ds/Saleem_Iqbal.pdf

Kallus, R. & Law-Yone H. (2000). What is a neighbourhood? The structure and function of an idea. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 27, 815-826.

Kim, J. (2007). Perceiving and valuing sense of community in a new urbanist development: A case study of Kentlands, Journal of Urban Design, 12, 203-230.

Song, Y. & Knaap, G. J. (2003). New urbanism and housing values: A disaggregate assessment. Journal of Urban Economics, 54, 218-238.

LDA (2011). Metropolitan Planning Wing Record. Unpublished. Lahore Development Authority, Lahore.

Lewis, H. M. (1949). Planning the modern city. Vol. 2. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

LG & CD/GoPb. (2010). Punjab private housing schemes and land sub-division rules 2010. Lahore: Local Government and Community Development Department, Government of the Punjab.

Lowry, R. (2012). Concepts & Applications of Inferential Statistics. Retrieved November 21,2012,from

Lund, H. (2002). Pedestrian environments and sense of community. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 21:3, 301-312.

Lund, H. (2003). Testing the claims of New Urbanism: Local access, pedestrian travel, and neighboring behaviors , Journal of the American Planning Association, 69, 414-429.

MacIntyre, S. & Ellaway, A. (2000). Ecological approaches: Rediscovering the role of the physical and social environment. (In L. F. Berkman & I. Kawachi (Eds.), Social epidemiology. New York: Oxford Press).

Mustafa, S. & Ashraf, Z. (2010). A study on the practice and performance of energy efficient residential buildings in Lahore. Dissertation, Unpublished. University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore.

Neuman, WL. (1996). Social research methods: Qualitative and quantitative approaches. 3rd ed. England: Allyn & Bacon.

NU (2002). Creating liveable neighbourhoods. Retrieved August 15, 2011, from

PMD. (2008). Climate records. Climate Data Processing Centre. Pakistan Meteorological Department, Karachi, Retrieved September 5, 2011,from [28] Podobnik, B. (2002). New Urbanism and the Generation of Social Capital: Evidence from Orenco Station. National Civic Review, 91, 245-255.

Rubenstein, H. M. (1987). A guide to site and environmental planning. 3rd ed. England: John Wiley and Sons.

Spreiregen, P. D. (1965). Urban design: The architecture of towns and cities. New York: McGraw-Hill.

SPSS (2009). Statistical coach. Statistical Package for Social Sciences. USA: SPSS Inc.

UCPB. (2010). Traditional neighbourhood design: Lessons and best practices. Planning guide 2/2010. New York: Ulster County Planning Board. Retrieved July 26, 2011 from ns/tnd guide.pdf

Wood, L., Frank, L. D. & Giles-Corti, B. (2010). Sense of community and its relationship with walking and neighbourhood design, Social Science & Medicine, 70, 1381- 1390.

Yang, Y. (2008). A tale of two cities: Physical form and neighborhood satisfaction in metropolitan Portland and Charlotte. Journal of the American Planning Association, 74, 307-323.

Copyright (c) 2016 Obaidullah Nadeem

Powered By KICS