Lahore in the 21st Century: The functioning and development of a megacity in the global south


  • M. S. Nawaz



In the world of urban studies and history, it is not uncommon for researchers and * writers to draw from established frameworks as points of inquiry. However, in “Lahore in the 21st Century,” Qadeer presents a refreshing departure from this norm. What sets this book apart is its original analytical framework, one specifically tailored to the vibrant city of Lahore. Qadeer’s work is an exploration of the internal dynamics of urban development in Lahore, and it offers readers a unique perspective on how the city functions. At the core of Qadeer’s argument is the notion that Lahore’s social and physical development can be attributed to its internal dynamics. He uses the metaphors of software and hardware to convey this concept. He argues that the indigenous society played a pivotal role in adapting, resisting, and reshaping the initiatives brought by the external forces and dynamics. Qadeer supports his claims with examples of physical and social transformations in Lahore. Qadeer also emphasises the intricate interplay between the city’s internal dynamics and national-scale circumstances. He links Lahore’s evolution to Pakistan’s shifting political landscape and international relations. One of the book’s strengths is the author’s personal connection to the city. As someone who experienced Lahore’s transitions in the aftermath of significant outmigration by Hindu and Sikh communities in 1947, Qadeer combines his lived experiences with scholarly analysis. His memoirs are seamlessly woven into the book and meticulously corroborated with cited works. This blending of personal history and academic  endeavor adds depth and authenticity to the narrative. Part of the book also serves as a historical account of Lahore. What distinguishes it from previous works is a fresh perspective on the city’s history, showing how it influences the city’s form and function. A distinctive feature of the book is Qadeer’s limited reliance on other scholars to develop an argument. While this might make it less appealing to those seeking an exhaustive review of literature on Lahore, the author’s diversity of sources is truly impressive. He offers key sources in notes, allowing interested readers to explore them independently. This approach not only keeps the book accessible but also underscores that most of the ideas presented are the author’s own, derived from his thoughtful analysis of the city.




How to Cite

M. S. Nawaz. (2024). Lahore in the 21st Century: The functioning and development of a megacity in the global south. The Pakistan Development Review, 63(1), pp.133–134.



Book Reviews