Producing Cosmopolitan Karachi: Freedom, Security and Urban Redevelopment in the Postcolonial Metropolis by: Nausheen H. Anwar and Sarwat Viqar’s.
In this article Nausheen H. Anwar and Sarwat Viqar analysis the urban – redevelopment and along with an urban history of Karachi. Karachi is one of the biggest Metropolis City of Pakistan. This article focuses the recent developments of eco-friendly retail and one of the most entertaining, complex, The Port Grand. The construction of this mesmerizing spot was under the corporate cultural entrepreneur and the Karachi port trust (KPT). The redevelopment of urban city is basically the transformation of the water front’s that were deteriorating over the years. The modern city role fails when the sanity, security and other economic developments collapse to satisfy its citizens. An innovation of consumer culture place such as Port-Grand targets the urban elites and signifies how the Pakistan post-liberalization era has positively affected the developments of the city.
The architectural, historical and cultural display of photography in the Port-Grand talks much about the harbour’s colonial past. The purpose is not only to propagate the cultural features but also to use it as marketing promotions.
Photo Courtesy by Myself.
Date: 31.Dec. 2011
Port-Grand is an attempt to reconstruct colonial part and to shape history in a modernize and sophisticated style. The co-existence of the mandir and the Port-Grand is a perfect example of what is basically a representation of capitalist consumption.
The grievances of the ethnic community includes the procession of their old land and how different it is now become for the ethnic minorities to access the mandir easily as the entries are now controlled by the hotel. Previously a lot of people could attempt various festivals at mandir, now very few come to attempt.
Port-Grand is a model for Future development plans keeping the vision of Karachi strategic development plan 2020. It has adopted to be recognized as ‘World City’.
Port-Grand pedes-trian-friendly strip portrays a resemblance of Quincy Market in Boston or The Clarke Quay in Singapore.
It is clearly noticeable that Karachi of 21st century is a unglamorous city which is polluted, congested and becoming over populated. Although Karachi enjoys a privileged position as compared to other cities of Pakistan as it is a financial capital and a base for multi-ethnic population. Along with the development and economic measures Karachi cannot disguise its reality. Colonies like Orangi town, Qasba Colony, Lyari and other lower class and multi-ethnic localities are still struggling for food, employment and respectable living standards.
Karachi is one of the world fastest growing city with an estimation population 21 million but sadly nearly 61% of the city residence belong to the group that is middle income and resides in poor and unplanned settlements. The failure to provide housing and social amenities to the population belonging from the lower class has resulted in adverse processions, illegal settlements; land mafia, land brokers and unlawful political alliances have constructed a violent geography.
In the era of General Musharraf the MQM back city was runned by a mayor and quickly transformed the entire city with extraordinary developments and beautification schemes for example: Upper class housing, Slums clearance, developments of new Infrastructure, shopping malls, golf clubs, cineplexes, Clifton beach and the new site of the Port-Grand. Port-Grand is a gift for the people of Karachi and a model for compelling foreign investors. Port-Grand is a safe family, place where the security measures are properly enforced. Single men are not allowed with families and thus as compared to the other entertainment places. It is a favorable option for the families.
Master plan always seems a great influential and beginning to start with, however when you are talking about transforming into a so-called skyline city, it is not only about developing few skyline projects, but the entire picture needs to get altered for example:
- Advance Infrastructures,
- Efficient transportation facilities,
- Political Stability,
- Employment facilities and
- Efficient Administration etc.
Karachi is a fastest developing city in the world but just initiating few skyline projects or entertainments places, one needs to eradicate slum areas.
Promoting tourism and maintaining culture heritage is a positive growth, however preserving culture in the capitalist world has become quite challenging and complicated. By reading the article one can clearly comprehend the pros and cons of developing sites like Port-Grand and for foreigners an attraction that introduces them with our heritage, culture as well as our city which is modernized and developing.
Few of the – Port-Grand Pictures taken by Me.