Effect of Transport Infrastructure in changing the urban form of a historical city: A case study of Lahore

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Submission Summary
Urban development and transportation are interrelated as transportation networks help in shaping the urban form along with supporting the social, cultural and economic growth of cities similarly infrastructure and superstructure of transportation networks are also shaped by city dynamics. Lahore, the cultural capital of the country, stands among the list of thirty most populated cities of the world and referred to as the major economic, political, transportation, entertainment and educational hub of Pakistan. Rapid industrialization, motorization, and expansion have resulted in pollution and traffic congestion. Consequently, the Punjab Government took the initiative of designing a rapid mass transit system for the city, with an aim to improve the accessibility, convenience, and ease of travel for a common man. The first section of the project i.e. Green line (Lahore Metrobus System) on Ferozpur Road has been working since 2013 while the second phase (orange line) is still under construction. As this was the first project of its kind, the impacts of the same on the adjacent built environment were missing. The adjoining urban form evolved sporadically in response to the changing transportation infrastructure, due to the absence of a proper supportive transit-oriented plan it took an ugly shape organically. This paper examines these upshots and complexities, giving a policy framework that can act as a remedial measure to avoid the repetitions of historical transit-related mistakes. It presents a detailed account of these changes by selecting eight bus stations of the Lahore Metrobus System (LMBS), which have dominantly changed their character due to intrusion of Metro bus. Before & after LMBS comparisons have been made with the help of site photographs and google earth images and the data is analyzed. Massive flyovers, excessive bridges, and stations are dominating the whole area thus making the urban form complex and, in some ways, visually obstructing. Although MBS has improved the overall accessibility of the masses, the peculiar character of this historical city Lahore was ignored during the planning and implementation stages of the project. Punjab Government should bring transport agencies, Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMA), investors, developers, and people together for joint development policy to enhance revenue and ridership of Metrobus towards one end and to move towards Transit-oriented Development (TOD) containing retrofitting, regeneration and re-densification of recognized urban cores and promoting the compact, transit-oriented urban expansion on the other. As this was the first line among the seven similar proposed by JICA so these findings will not only be useful for future lines in Lahore & other cities of Pakistan but also for other developing countries seeking to adopt mass transit systems. Keywords: Lahore Metrobus Service (LMBS), Rapid Mass Transit System, Transport Infrastructure, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), Urban Form.
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3: Planning for Urban Connectivity
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PhD Scholar
Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT)
Harbin Institute of technology
Assistant professor
University of the Fraser Valley
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