Imagining cities: DHA city’s ‘master plan’ ready to go

KARACHI: The Defence Housing Authority (DHA) executive board unveiled the final plan for DHA City Karachi (DCK) – a residential-cum-commercial project to be built on Super Highway.

The board met on Monday to reveal the master plan for the project that, according to DHA Administrator Brig. Aamer Raza Qureshi, should be ready for people to move in within three to four years. However, five- and ten-year construction plans will continue.

The plan, 12 months in the making, is the brainchild of two international firms, Doxiadis from Greece and Robert Matthew Johnson Marshall of the UK, and the Pakistani firm, M/S Osmani and Company.

In the first phase, an immediate action plan directed at getting the project up and running is to be completed till 2012. The short-term development plans comprising development of primary infrastructure and facilities will go on till 2015 and the mid-term plan till 2020. The project is to be completed by 2030 under the long-term development plan. The project will cover 11,640 acres of land obtained in 2005. Bids for the over 27,000 residential and commercial plots were held at the end of 2009.

The DCK chief concept adviser, Dr Spyridon Pollalis, presented the plans for residential, commercial and community facilities along with details of downtown and gateway districts. Infrastructure is to include transport, water and energy supplies.

According to the project team leader, Arif Osmani, DCK was planned as the first sustainable and green city of the country. According to Pollalis, a holistic plan for sustainable energy has been developed with emphasis on energy conservation and efficiency and using renewable energy sources.

Features such as multi-purpose districts, neighbourhoods, green spaces, community-level facilities, educational and sports centres, theme parks, an efficient transport system and sustainable housing are to be developed in the new city, said Osmani. DCK’s transportation plan includes the development of a dedicated walk, cycling and mass transit tracks in addition to an Aashto-based road network, he elaborated.

The project director, Brig. (R) Muhammad Rafique, said that the area’s security is an integral feature of the master plan. It includes physical and electronic surveillance of the area. They are also considering a number of options that would shorten the distance between DHA city and the city.

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