Spatial strategy approved for Lahore's development

It acts as a layout plan for continuous and sustainable development in the province

Our Correspondent July 06, 2019

LAHORE: Leveraging the foundations in spatial data of the Punjab Spatial Strategy (PSS) will help integrate multiple schemes into the development vision set by the provincial government, said Punjab Planning and Development (P&D) Board Chairman Habibur Rehman Gillani.

He expressed his opinion after the Punjab Cabinet approved the PSS to give effect to a spatial planning regime in the province. “The purpose to work on the PSS was not only to build foundations of geospatial data in the planning process of Punjab, but also to deploy this spatial database for effective use in policymaking, especially in relation to development programs.”

The chairman, who guided the approval processes and finalisation of the strategy, stressed on the need for implementation of this strategy. “The PSS will not only integrate multiple schemes into the development plan, but also augment the capacities in development planning for the province.”

Earlier, the provincial government had developed the Punjab Jobs and Competitiveness Programme for Results with the assistance of World Bank to support sustainable economic development in the province. The PSS is one of the key components of the program.

The P&D Board has been working with the Urban Unit to collect Punjab’s spatial data, which was analyzed under the guidance of leading national and international experts. The strategy is developed under the guidance of Advisor to the Punjab Chief Minister on Economic Affairs Dr Salman Shah, P&D and Punjab Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht.

“Using new technologies and strategies for geospatial data, Punjab can exploit alternative sources of information such as acquiring remotely sensed data in addition to using conventional survey technology,” Gillani maintained.

PSS is a long-term spatial planning framework for the province. It sets out spatial policies to provide evidence-based direction to the pattern of public and private investment in Punjab, and acts as a layout plan for continuous and sustainable development in the province. These spatial policies take forward key aims of the PSS and also ensure alignment of public sector investments and spatial governance in multiple sectors including environment, agriculture, irrigation, industries and cities.

Provincial Secretary for P&D Iftikhar Ali Sahoo said that the spatial approach will enable Punjab to move in a unified direction, building on comparative advantage and enhance competitiveness. “This will also ensure balanced and organised spatial development across the province.”

Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2019.


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