Policy Options for Financing Urban Transportation in Resource Constrained Environments: The Case of Lahore, Pakistan

Ammar A. Malik


In all prosperous and modern economies, cities are the engines
of growth and melting pots of diversely talented individuals. They offer
inclusive environments with openness and access to opportunities,
enabled by efficient and affordable transport systems leading to
economically productive interaction between citizens. On the other hand,
many cities in rapidly urbanising developing countries have not been
able to develop efficient spatial structures, which results in traffic
congestion and poor transport services. Their resource-constrained
governments often struggle to fill gaps in transport infrastructure
demand, which in the case of megacities requires mass transit projects.
In the case of Lahore, Pakistan, however, the Provincial and Federal
governments appear deeply committed to undertaking mass transit services
despite chronic fiscal and financial constraints. The paper first
explores Lahore’s urban form and function from the transportation and
land-use perspectives, presenting an in-depth sub-city level analysis of
spatial variations in key characteristics. Second, by undertaking a
review of transport infrastructure financing literature it evaluates the
viability of three main policy options in Lahore, including public
private partnerships, municipal finance options and reforming urban
land-use zoning. It concludes that governments in such environments
could benefit from land-financing by utilising centrally located
State-owned lands through market oriented land-use regulation reforms.
JEL Classification: R11; R58; Z18; P25 Keywords: Regional Economic
Activity, Regional Development Planning and Policy, Public Policy,
Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30541/v52i2pp.139-155


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