Due to the lack of neighborhood level economic data, policymakers in many cities plan and execute the provision of public services without taking local economic realities into full consideration. Public transit planning in such environments for instance is not based on areas of economic activity, or on the structure of local labour markets, but rather on engineering or political considerations.
This is a particularly profound concern in historic inner or walled cities of South Asia, where population and economic densities are extremely high and urban layouts are congested and path dependent. The mixed land-use patterns, together with the clustering of commercial activity, create unique urban places necessitating context-rich primary data collection for improving policymaking to support greater productivity.
In this context, this project aims to achieve two primary objectives:
- Test the feasibility and utility of conducting robust economic surveys in highly densely populated urban neighborhoods; and
- Explore and document clusters of economic activity within Peshawar’s historic inner-city, focusing on the sector and industry composition of businesses and related labour market outcomes.
Working in coordination with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government’s Planning and Development Department through the Urban Unit, household and business surveys will be administered within Peshawar’s inner-city. Survey results will be mapped and reported to local stakeholders, offering policy lessons and documenting fieldwork methods for potential replication in other cities.