On Wednesday the 11th of December, a conference “Cities for People” was arranged by the Center for Public Policy and Governance (CPPG), Forman Christian College University Lahore (FCCU) in collaboration with the UNDP and the PIDE.

Speaking to the Conference, Dr. Nadeem ul Haque, Vice-Chancellor, PIDE, criticized urban land-use practices of the Lahore Development Authority. He stressed the need to lessen the control of urban planning in the growth of Lahore. A number of scholars presented their papers on urban issues ranging from inclusion, exclusion, people-oriented planning, and reworking of the urban planning practices.

The discussion of issues of the practices of urban planning and development and the need to interrogate urban theory and developing it while keeping in view the local realties of Pakistani society created immense interest. The role of active citizenship was seen as necessary for slum up-gradation as it could help to make the community a better living space for people. The women speakers stressed that gender equity can be achieved if the issues related to women & 39's mobility are addressed properly.

Dr. Saeed Shafqat, Director, CPPG, talked about the need for recognizing demography as a national issue and to overcome the differences between the world of academia and the world of professionals. He further emphasized on developing policies which are people-centric with reference to the urban context of Karachi.

Sarah Ahmad emphasized the importance of Collaborative Planning for the transformation of urban governance.

Iman Khan stressed that there is a dire need to study issues with current housing schemes as they do not address the need for multi-class spaces and adopt a certain class ethics attitude.

Maira Khan highlighted the problem of gender disconnect in urban Lahore. She stressed that it is important to understand the sense of comfort and empowerment felt by women in local public places.

The discussion of environment perils caused by urban development drew attention. Dawar Butt stressed that it was imperative to focus on creating clean air in the city.

A presentation by the representatives of the Lahore Development Authority created an interesting discussion. A number of participants questioned the policies of LDA, which they termed as exclusionary.

Nadeen Khurshid stressed the need for having city boundaries for improved urban management. The use of urban green infrastructure to improve the air quality of our cities is highly significant.

Dr. Nasir Javed emphasized the critical need to plan and reform urban policy in cities & regions. Khalid Sherdil shared the plans of the Urban Unit on creating cities and regions for economic development in Punjab.

It was concluded that over-planning should be avoided as much as possible. The citizens should be involved in the process of urban planning to help the targeted audience and avoid the undue benefits reaped by the elite of the country.