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3,600 km2








Karachi is unique within the context of Pakistan in the diversity of cultures, ethnicities, languages that define its people. No wonder it is called ‘Mini Pakistan’! Here we celebrate this diversity by profiling the people, their festivities and celebrations, food and cuisine and hope to highlight the need to make this diversity and plurality a source of strength rather than divisions. Similarly, Karachi is distinguished by the varieties found in its physical and natural resource capital. From the coast of the Arabian Sea to the rocky wilderness of the Khirthar National Park, the city exhibits a rich tapestry of nature’s wonders. Not many cities in the world can compete with Karachi in the varied topography, landscape and terrain on offer. We document and celebrate our city’s natural capital.

Critical to understanding the functioning of the city is to have a comprehension of the way powers and functions are shared and services delivered between different tiers of government and also how distribution of functions is managed within a single tier. Legislative instruments, like ‘Acts’ or ‘Ordinances’ with the accompanying ‘Amendments’, define the governance framework of a city. Here we bring out some key legislative instruments that define the urban governance construct in Karachi. Key civic services and land management in the city are shared between the city and provincial government with an interface also with federal government entities and cantonment land. An effort has been done to focus on two aspects relevant to this portal – civic services and land. Document are some important ‘Acts’ and related ‘Amendments’.


For an ordinary citizen of the city the main interface with service providers is at the scale of those services that are critical to daily lives like water and sanitation, transport, waste management, land. Here we are providing important information on key service delivery institutions on the organizational structure, functions and services they provide, the relevant contacts, if functional, the customer care services etc. An effort has been made to present the information in a more engaging manner through the development of maps that document important facilities such as parks, government schools and hospitals. Now citizens can therefore find an access to their service providers in this one window and start a process of engagement and dialogue that we hope leads to improved urban governance.

Karachi is Pakistan’s economic hub. Being a port city and also the most literate and heavily populated city in the country, it mobilizes significant human and financial resources to fuel the engine of national growth. The city houses the focal points of the fast emerging services sector of Pakistan such as the head offices of key banks and financial institutions. It houses the largest industrial base in Pakistan with six (6) separate industrial estates clustered within the city. Sustainable cities have to be financially vibrant and prosperous and many innovative models of private and public sector partnerships are being implemented the world over with beneficial outcomes in making the cities more vibrant. We highlight this important facet of the city that provides a space for facilitating sustainable urban growth.


Karachi is home to a vibrant civil society. Civil society groups are actively engaged in contributing to the betterment of the city and its people in a variety of thematic areas. These include human rights, environment, community development, health and education, youth empowerment to name a few. They act as advocacy activists, watchdog groups working for transparency in governance, for empowerment of the marginalized communities and in training and action research. Similarly, academic institutions are increasingly finding an outreach within the communities, researching and documenting critical urban development challenges, indicators and offering training, capacity building and innovative solutions to the city’s growth related challenges. Here, we document some leading non-governmental organizations and academic institutions of the city and their areas of focus.

While Karachi can take pride in its rich human and natural resources, the city also houses a number of heritage sites belonging mostly to the colonial period. Here we document in detail the listed heritage sites in Karachi that include buildings and parks and other spaces. Sourcing from the archives of the Heritage Cell of the Department of Architecture & Planning, NED Engineering University, documented are maps, historical data, listing criterion etc. This information will be of great help to academics, researchers, policy makers and any citizens of the city generally who wants to inform themselves of our rich historical heritage. Then being archived are some important historical documents related with the planning and development of the city that find a consonance with the aims of this portal.


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