Focus on urbanisation issues in Karachi

Ended 2015

IIED collaborated with partners to look at urbanisation in Karachi.

A view of Karachi from the film Karachi Rising (Image: Arif Hasan)

IIED worked with partners in Karachi on a series of key policy issues related to urbanisation in Karachi.

Also under the intellectual leadership of Arif Hasan (as with our work on density), this has included studies of land contestation (summarised in a Working paper, a book and a journal article), informal textile production under pressure from globalisation (summarised in a Working paper) and urban transport (summarised in a Working paper).

These studies were debated at public forums organised by the Urban Resource Centre, most have been covered by the press, and contributed to ongoing policy debates in Karachi. As the IIED publications indicate, they also have lessons for other cities. 

With Karachi building upwards to house its expanding population, but unregulated building leaves poor families at risk, an IIED film, 'Karachi rising', outlines solutions that could benefit the whole city.


Land ownership, control and contestation in Karachi and implications for low-income housing, Arif Hasan, Noman Ahmed, Mansoor Raza, Asiya Sadiq and Saeed Ud Din Ahmed (2013), Series on Urbanization and Emerging Population Issues, IIED and UNFPA

Impacts of economic crises and reform on the informal textile industry in Karachi, Arif Hasan and Mansoor Raza (2015), IIED Working paper

Additional resources

Land contestation in Karachi and the impact on housing and urban development, Arif Hasan (2015), Environment and Urbanization, Vol 27, No 1, pages 217-230.

Karachi: the land issue, Arif Hasan, Noman Ahmed, Saeed Ud Din Ahmed, Mansoor Raza and Asiya Sadiq-Polack (2015), Oxford University Press


UK aid


Arif Hasan

Karachi URC

Department of Architecture and Planning, NED University of Engineering and Technology


Was this page useful to you?