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By Anjum Altaf The more I read about sustainability the more I am puzzled by what it reveals and what it hides. At one level, this is a new buzzword in the global discourse that all sorts of shysters are milking for what it is worth while...

By Anjum Altaf What is to be done when we believe strongly that the present in which we live falls very much short of what it ought to be? Clearly, we don’t need to prove that that is indeed the case --  widespread poverty, hunger, marginalization,...

By Anjum Altaf Urban productivity is determined by a number of variables, including population size and urban sprawl. With effective infrastructure investment, cities can enable more workers to access available jobs, creating integrated labour markets and increasing urban productivity.   From an economic perspective, the concept of a metropolitan...

By Anjum Altaf I ‘wrote’ a poem, The City, which appeared on 3 Quarks Daily on Monday, 30 November, 2015. The poem is reproduced below followed by comments on its genesis, connections with Faiz Ahmed Faiz, and some reflections on translating poetry. The City Look My city bedecks itself in...

By Anjum Altaf Let me explain. Imagine a number of you are in a boat out at sea and a hole opens up in the bottom. If everyone waits for another to do something, everyone will drown. Someone will have to do something for a chance of...

By Ahmed Kamran Among other many finer things of a city’s life that Karachi has lost over time, the greatest loss has been the disappearance of its book stores – the windows of Karachi’s reading and thinking abilities. These are now long shut and closed. Many...

By Ahmed Kamran In spite of a sudden influx of immigrants pouring into the city in large numbers in the wake of partition of India, Karachi’s social and cultural life remained progressive and liberal in its outlook. The influx of new population, mostly coming from other...

By Anjum Altaf Anyone wanting to understand urbanization needs to get past two major misunderstandings. First, urbanization is not about individual cities – neither solving their problems nor enhancing their potential for growth. The end result of urbanization is indeed an increase in the population of cities...

By Ahmed Kamran Yeh laash-e be-kafan Asad-e khasta jaan ki hai Haq maghfarat kare ajab azad mard tha! (Ghalib) If Karachi could be likened to a man, with a little liberty taken from Ghalib, this couplet could be a very appropriate epitaph for the tombstone of Karachi, the...

By Anjum Altaf The discussion of megacities has drifted into a combination of oh-my-god and pie-in-the-sky narratives displacing potentially sensible and useful analyses. As an example of the first, consider how often one hears that Karachi had a population of 11 million in 1998 and is twice...