Pakistan Institute of Development Economics

PIDE Centre for Urban Research – PCUR

Cities have significant problems in transforming their land-use patterns, energy and transportation networks, as well as developing appropriate decarbonization plans. Selecting the best-fit solutions to satisfy their distinct and individual requirements necessitates extensive skills, expertise, and resources, which are sometimes lacking in smaller towns. Furthermore, these decision-making and planning procedures frequently take place in a highly dynamic setting with a huge number of other requirements that normally take precedence. This complexity frequently leads to disjointed decision-making not only inside cities but also within various stakeholder groups. While strategic solutions are frequently presented, decisions at the urban scale can significantly impact individual approaches and technologies. The “PIDE Centre for Urban Research” will play its part in alleviating this situation by incorporating these ‘urban issues’ within PIDE’s R&D.

The centre will focus on how to secure tangible reforms in Pakistani city practices, fostering inclusion, equality of opportunity, civic participation, and a mutual sense of local belonging across diverse communities of newcomers and existing residents by drawing on research evidence on inclusion barriers and shared learning on proven effective approaches to overcoming them.

Objectives of the Centre

  • Update the cities regarding existing literature and add new research themes in cities domain for better and effective planning, and close the gap between cities and research
  • It will inform the upcoming cadre of policymakers about the important role of cities in our economy and public policy in general.
  • Assess and identify the needs of cities, their actors and associated stakeholders
  • Generate appropriate non-technical ‘on demand’ input and service ideas for cities
  • Identify and discuss bottlenecks and barriers for the transformation of cities’ energy and transport systems
  • Discuss and provide results and (policy) recommendations on energy and transport systems
  • The working group will also focus on different grant opportunities to conduct research in the field of cities.

The Centre of Urban Research at PIDE will primarily focus on initiating a debate in local academia about the economics of cities and the various policies and regulations that affect the socio-economic structure of a city i.e., zoning regulation, agglomeration economies and mobility infrastructure. Plus, will also look into and identify the varying needs of different cities in Pakistan, their key stakeholders, in addition to discussing and providing policy recommendations on the numerous barriers for the transformation of cities’ energy and transport systems in the country, with the ultimate goals to close the gap between cities and research.

Themes of the Centre

  • Urbanization is our cities future, and by 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in the cities. We are 30 years away from the age of mass urbanization, but sadly our city structure or design cannot bear the minimum load; how can we have a sustainable future?
  • The working group’s primary focus will be on dense urban sprawl, physical impediments to city growth, a fixation with automobile-oriented city planning, housing shortages, horizontal expansion instead of vertical, overcrowded migration from rural to urban, mobility issues, street parking everywhere, and heavy zoning restrictions. The primary objective will be to study how our cities evolved with time, what happened wrong and how to re-correct ourselves.

Products of the Centre

The Centre Will have the following products with frequency as mentioned:

  1. Conferences in different cities of Pakistan
  2. Research Articles.
  3. Workshops on different research tools for cities.
  4. Research Reports/Urban Monograph
  5. Expert Podcasts with urban planners, academia, and city experts.
  6. News articles will be published to inform the common individuals about the situation to spread our voice to the general public.

Funding for Centre

The Centre will need at least 03 full-time Research Assistants@Rs.20,000 and 03 Interns@Rs.10,000.

For products like conferences, Workshops, research; costs will be shared beforehand for approval from the competent authority.

Centre Structure

Dr. Nadeem ul Haque (VC, PIDE) will act as Patron In-Chief of the centre and Muhammad Aqeel Anwar will lead the centre.

Panels on Centre

There will be three panels on Centre on which different stakeholders will be taken on board for smooth functioning of the group:

  1. Academic Panel
  2. Expert Panel
  3. Policy Panel

Finalization of the panel is in progress. Moreover, the panel will be updated regularly.

Contact

PIDE Centre for Urban Research

Email: pcur@pide.org.pk

Phone: 051-9248075

Fax: 051-9248061