Population in the city of Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, has doubled over the past twenty years, and the city is now home to 11 million people. Roughly over the same period, the city has expanded at an average annual rate of 3.9%.

The objectives of this sub-project are:

• To understand how unrestrained urban expansion and associated changes in land use patterns contribute to socio-spatial inequality, and affect access to services such as water, sanitation, energy, mobility, with a focus on how the impacts differ by gender

• To understand how negotiated settlements for basic services emerge among marginalized communities that are increasingly being pushed ‘off-the-grid’; how such communities negotiate and access services, and participate in the making of their urban environment

• To study the process of densification, housing consolidation and expansion as well as challenges faced by communities that are encircled by low-density housing

• To contribute to research and debates on urban expansion, peri-urban transformation, and urban governance and planning in the global south, and to develop appropriate policy

Lahore streets

Click here for more information on the workshop, “Mapping Change in Lahore’s Urbanized Villages”


Lahore project team

Fizzah Sajjad

Fizzah Sajjad

Fizzah Sajjad is a PhD candidate in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the Department of Geography and Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). She is an urban planner with nine years of research and project management experience. Her research interests focus on questions of land, housing, transport, and the politics of infrastructure development. She has worked on affordable housing development, gender equity in transport planning, and dispossession in rapidly urbanizing cities of the Global South. Fizzah holds a Masters in City Planning from MIT, with a specialization in International Development Planning.

Hala Bashir Malik

Hala Bashir Malik is a Lahore based architect and researcher. She currently runs her own design and research studio, Hyper-Practice, and has conducted research on the dynamics of affordable housing in Pakistan, supply scan for housing in the major cities of the country and on regularization policies of informal housing within Punjab.

She has also taught at Beaconhouse National University at the School of Architecture and School of Visual Arts and Design, with her studios and courses focusing on mapping techniques as well as on urban development on the peri-urban areas of Lahore and its impact on spatial, demographic and social dynamics. She holds a Masters of Science in Architectural Studies from MIT, with a specialization in History, Theory and Criticism (Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture).

Umair Javed

Umair Javed is Assistant Professor of Politics and Sociology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He completed his PhD in political sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where his dissertation looked at the impact of economic liberalization and informalization on democratization, labor relations, and political participation in Pakistan’s largest province, Punjab. Broadly, his research interests include urban politics, state-society relations, and socio-economic change in South Asia.

Aiza Hussain

Aiza Hussain is project lead on the Lahore team. She is a Fulbright scholar and holds a Masters degree from the University of Chicago in Socio-Cultural Anthropology, and Bachelors in Anthropology & Sociology from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Aiza is an anthropologist with 6 years of ethnographic, oral history and qualitative data collection experience. Her research interests include urban marginalization, spatial politics, media and digital culture. She has worked on home-making processes for squatter settlers, resource access in working-class neighborhoods, and cultural commodification of chai in Lahore. 

Ali Asad Sabir

Ali Asad Sabir is working as senior research assistant for the Lahore team. After completing his bachelors in political science from University of the Punjab, Ali has worked on multiple projects in housing finance, P/CVE, real-economy credit facilities, political economy and governance. His last assignment was at University of Rochester as a research assistant where he was focused on land distribution policies during the colonial period, and on contemporary village-level outcomes. Ali has also worked on multiple ICs funded projects ranging from USIP, FAO, UNDP, CLCI Iraq, Mercy Corps and more. He is also a former fellow at Centre for Security, Strategy and Policy Research. Ali also writes on urban land development and land credit facilities in Dawn and Express Tribune. He tweets at @Ali_asad_sabir. 

Mohid Ahsan

Mohid Ahsan is working as a research assistant for the Lahore team. He holds a degree in History from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and is interested in questions pertaining to rural/urban geographies, people’s histories, and colonialism. He is also currently working on a short film on urban development and land use change along the Ravi river.