Urban infrastructure finance and its relationship with land market, land development, and sustainability: Case study of the City of Islamabad, Pakistan
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Cities are responsible for 70% of global carbon emissions. As a result, cities worldwide have been met with the challenge of urban sustainability. Urbanization results mostly from the conversion of agricultural land into urban form; and to perform various functions, urban systems need to be put into place and maintained to keep them moving forward. Urban development, with its ability to deliver socioeconomic benefits, is a key to economic success, human development, eradication of poverty, and overall sustainable growth. The core infrastructure of a city, which includes roads, mass transit, airports, electricity production and distribution, and water/sewer systems, hold the utmost descriptive power for efficiency and joint necessity in fostering economic growth and in reducing poverty and income inequalities. Extensive public and private led infrastructure projects are critical for ensuring efficient economic function. Urban sustainability assessment indicators are based on economic, social and environment aspects which are integrated within rules, regulations, and polices. Urban design integrated in the natural environment plays a key role in shaping a city’s future. Compact design, density, walkability, quality of life, amenities, and economic development are several of the fundamental principles of urban sustainable development. Developing countries like Pakistan are facing very specific issues with respect to urban development due to lack of financial and performance capabilities. Although cities are growing and expanding in all respects, they are becoming more and more difficult to maintain. Despite the expansion of urban boundaries, issues, such as shortage of housing, quality of life, and financial constraints to adequately manage communities, are also increasing. In other words, urban boundaries are being pushed but are failing to be managed sustainably. Accordingly, the present study’s objective is to identify the forces and motivations that are driving land development in the city of Islamabad, Pakistan. Two questions are raised: 1) Is land development influenced by the element of financialization? And, 2) How do land development decisions influence urban sustainability in Islamabad? This paper’s objective is to first confirm whether the element of financialization does in fact influence urban land development, and then to explore its relationship with urban sustainability. This study uses assessment of urban land development patterns, market motivations and their relationship with utility of land development, and analyzes occupancy trend and sustainability in terms of Islamabad’s provision of basic amenities and walkability. The study is based on a mixed method design, using both quantitative and qualitative data from secondary and primary sources. Data was analyzed statistically through hypotheses testing and validation. Research confirms that the financialization of local land development practices and issues of urban sustainability with respect to walkability and slower rate of occupancy of developed land. This study provides a unique aspect into the financialization in a local context of land market motivation and land development patterns. It also emphasises the need to incorporate market motivations and the necessity for land development into the future land development decision-making process and to formulate sustainable urban growth strategies.
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Muhammad Rauf (2017). Urban infrastructure finance and its relationship with land market, land development, and sustainability: Case study of the City of Islamabad, Pakistan. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12087
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