An analysis of urban sprawl in Pakistan: consequences, challenges, and the way forward

Shabbir Ahmed, Wu Huifang, Saira Akhtar, Shakeel Imran, Gulfam Hassan, Chunyu Wang


Pakistan is urbanizing at a tremendous tempo in South Asia and is the world’s 6th most populous country. The key objectives of this review paper were to evaluate the general situation of urban sprawl in Pakistan, investigate the methodological tactics used in the previously published literature, and identify the major geographical areas yet not been surveyed. This literature review was conducted to collect and synthesize pertinent data from the previously published research papers accessed through the utilization of different databases and search engines. The most recently published research papers (2010-2019) were incorporated in this review article. Those research papers were retrieved which contain data related to urban sprawl in Pakistan. Roundabout 26 research articles were comprehensively reviewed. It was scrutinized that in all these accessed research articles, almost similar methodologies (Case Studies) were utilized. Most of the researchers carried out cross-sectional qualitative and descriptive studies, through secondary data analysis to identify the causes, impact, influence, and consequences of urbanization on agricultural land conversion, migration, changing land ownership patterns, settlement issues, water scarcity, pollution, extinction of botanical species, etc. Migration, development of peri-urban areas around the outer rim of the cities, installation of industrial units, improved infrastructure, and population growth have been concluded as the prime reasons of the rapid urban sprawl in Pakistan. There is a dire need for quantitative and mixed method research to understand and have an insight into the underlying factors of Urbanization in Pakistan.


Urban sprawl; Consequences and challenges; Agricultural land conversion; Rural to urban migration; Pakistan


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DOI: 10.33687/008.03.3438


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