nawa laneNawalane was an informal settlement that was regularised in 1976. It is over 250 years old, and is centrally located in downtown Karachi. Before regularisation the houses in the settlement were single or double storey. Today, the majority of them are ground floor plus two floors to ground plus four or five and they continue to rise. Parks and playgrounds are almost non-existent and densities are high at over 3300 persons per hectare.

The population is growing and since the residents are poor they do not have any other option but to densify. The average family size is 13 and an average of two families live on one plot. Only 18 per cent of the population use their homes for economic activity; Nawalane is a traditional working-class area and does not have a tradition of entrepreneurship.

The residents of Nawalane do not have a support organisation like the NGO Saiban in Khuda Ki basti 3. This probably helps to explain why social sector facilities are lacking. If there was such an organisation, the situation would perhaps be different.

The remodelling shows that the site’s residential area could be scaled down and space for amenities increased, as directed by Karachi bylaws, while maintaining a density close to that of the present settlement and well over twice the prescribed maximum. The remodelled density is 3157 persons per hectare.

More information on Nawalane is presented in a working paper available for downloading.