Deconstructing DHA Lahore: Analysing post-1980s Military operated housing through three spatial-ideological systems
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Lahore’s urban fabric has become defined by sprawling, fragmented gated housing. At the forefront of such development is Defence Housing Authority (DHA), a residential development agency owned by affiliates of the Pakistani Military. In consequence, the Pakistani Military, as an institution, has designed and developed about 30% of Lahore’s built-up area, a strategy that has contributed to their political and social power. In this thesis I conceptualize and study three broad morphologies which are repeated throughout Lahore’s post 1980’s rapid residential development: scheme boundary lines, street systems, and residential plots. Drawing from the key reading: The New Pakistani Middle-Class by Ammara Maqsood, as well as theorization by Ayyaz Mallick, I conceptualize these three morphologies as the material-ideological systems that aid the military in establishing hegemonic control through defining the aspirations of an emergent middle-class. The methodology seeks to understand these systems at multiple scales; each of these three sections begins with the study of advertisements and marketing materials, moves into the analysis of the system at the urban scale, and finally looks at it at the level of architectural expression. I find that the design ideology of DHA’s residential planning centres a modern Islamic community. It markets the lifestyle of a colonial-era-established middle-class and uses exclusionary planning tactics to maintain insularity. Through marketing, construction by-laws, design standards, and the Military’s political prestige, DHA perpetuates ideals established during the colonial-era and increases social and economic disparity within Lahore.
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Shanze Shahbaz (2022). Deconstructing DHA Lahore: Analysing post-1980s Military operated housing through three spatial-ideological systems. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/18123