Integrating Urban Datasets: The Path to Effective Socio-Economic Planning in Urban Pakistan

Approximately 40% of Pakistan’s population resides in urban areas around the country, and urban population contributes an estimated 75 % of the country’s GDP. The importance of cities to the socio-economic growth of the country is only set to rise in the foreseeable future as increasing numbers of Pakistan’s youth migrate from rural areas to cities in search of employment opportunities. Pakistan’s urban population is set to equal its rural population in the year 2030. This calls for effective urban planning tools to ensure universal delivery of basic municipal services, control of the spread of slums, the minimization of pollution and the control of crime and political violence. Effective urban policy making and implementation in Pakistan is impeded by the problem of integrating data containing incompatible spatial references. There is great heterogeneity across spatial units being used by different urban government departments for data collection and reporting in Pakistan. Each individual agency/ department has imagined and generated its own divisions of the city as suits its own individual needs. This policy brief, recommends policy actions that will overcome these problems.

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