Is peri-urban structure plan likely to be a viable approach to manage development in urban peripheries? – Case studies from Punjab, Pakistan

Obaidullah Nadeem, Rizwan Hameed, Muhammad Afzal


The area contiguous with the rural-urban fringe with low density scattered development is gaining importance due to its, rich agricultural landscape, economic worth and potential to become urban in near future. This article contributes to the growing debate on the fate of peri-urban area in the wake of its changing character. In 2009, the Government of Punjab promulgated Land Use Rules introducing the concept of Peri-Urban Structure Plan (PUSP) for the first time in Pakistan. This study assesses the usefulness of PUSP by randomly taking two case study plans from amongst plans prepared so far in Punjab. Ironically, these plans neither followed any growth model nor appear to be based on internationally tested and suggested approaches to deal with peri-urban areas. The implementation of such plans would inevitably lead to further urban sprawl. Thus, it is expedient that preparation of a PUSP needs to be allowed in the light of revised master plan of a city which should identify zones for infill/high density development to accommodate the future population while restricting further horizontal development within peri-urban area. In case of big cities, putting an urban growth boundary and planning residential and industrial suburbs would be a more promising strategy. 

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