The Best Planned Localities of Pakistan: Model Town Lahore

Posted on August 28, 2008
Filed Under >Owais Mughal, Economy & Development, History, Travel
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Owais Mughal

Today we are going to feature Model Town, Lahore as one of the best planned localities of Pakistan. In the past we’ve featured North Nazimabad, Karachi and Eight bazaars of Faisalabad in the same series.

Model Town is designed in the shape of a square with major roads dividing it into blocks vertically, horizontally and diagonally. The area of Model Town is 5.9 square kilometers (or 1463 acres). The center of the square shape is a circular park. I don’t know the exact dimension but somewhere I’ve read the circumference of this circular park is more than 2km. Besides the obvious symmetry of design, what else has always attracted me to Model Town’s planning is its generous allotment for green areas and parks. Almost 19% of model town’s area is alloted to parks. Another 4% area is alloted to plant nurseries and playgrounds. This ratio of open area (23%) to residential area (56%) is hard to match in most of the well-planned localities of Pakistan.

It is very clear from the following satellite image of Model Town that how well the groups of residential plots have been provided open air facilities

Model Town has been divided into 10 residential blocks which have been named A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I and J. Surrounding the big square of Model Town there are 8 more residential blocks named as K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, and S which form a locality called Model Town Extension.

Following schematic map of model town shows location of main 10 blocks. From this map one can easily appreciate the symmetry of town planning done here. When I look at the following map, I am just amazed by the geometrical patterns created here. For this reason alone, I’ve always considered Model Town as one of the best examples of town planning in Pakistan.

How Old is Model Town?

I tried to do an internet search on Model Town’s history. Most of the internet chatter seems to come from one unconfirmed source; according to which Model town’s cooperative was formed in November, 1921 and Sir Ganga Ram played an important role in the planning that went behind Model Town’s civil desgin. However, a more authentic record comes from Model Town Cooperative Society’s page which lists first President of the society as Raja Narendra Nath who joined the post on April 3, 1924. The complete list of Presidents of Model town cooperative can be viewed here.

Famous People Who Live(d) in Model Town

Model Town’s Cooperative society lists following important personalities on their website, who have lived in Model Town. Ashfaq Ahmed, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Hafiz Jallandhari, Hasan Nisar, Mian Aamer Mahmood (nazim Lahore), Nawaz Sharif, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Shahbaz Sharif. Besides these I also know that Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi also lived in Model Town Lahore in 1950s before moving to Karachi. Cricketer Wasim Akram, Ramiz Raja and Ijaz Ahmed as well as tennis player Aisam-ul-Haq also call(ed) Model Town as home.

We can always use our knowledgable readers’ input on adding more names to the list above.

Electric Supply to Model Town

The model town cooperative buys electric power in bulk from LESCO at a distribution voltage of 11000 volts from three feeders. It is then downstepped at several transformers to bring it down to a distribution voltage of 220V.

Civil Work Details:

The total length of road network in Model town is 64 km. The length of water supply pipelines and sewarage lines are 60 km each.

Following is an aerial photograph of Model Town.

References and Credits:

1. Title photo is from Adnan Latif‘s collection at Flickr.
2. Model Town Cooperative Society
3. Model Town Google Map here.
4. Model Town Map at Estateman here.

27 Comments on “The Best Planned Localities of Pakistan: Model Town Lahore”

  1. Abdulhai says:
    August 28th, 2008 11:04 pm

    The following information about Model Town History was provided to me by Sajeelah Khan, daughter of Colonel Jamaluddin. For additional details click:

    http://reluctantexpatriate.blogspot.com/

    In 1927 Col Jamaluddin had been posted as Civil Surgeon in Lahore. Mr Kirpalani was the Deputy Commissioner and Sardar Teja Singh was the Sessions Judge. All three Indians were posted together for the first time. With the help of a French architect who was their mutual friend, they planned the community of Model Town, as a retirement abode. Innitially, ModelTown was divided into three parts with a Mosque, a Temple and a Gurduwara as a center point to worship, surrounded by three blocks of housing each. Land at the center of the development was left vacant for recreation and community service centers.

  2. wasiq says:
    August 29th, 2008 1:31 am

    Thanks Owais. I greatly enjoy your well researched articles on ATP and its great that you take such care to cite your sources. Nice images as well. Look forward to your next contribution.

  3. August 29th, 2008 1:55 am

    Very nice.

  4. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    August 29th, 2008 5:42 am

    @Owais Mughal,

    Fantastic thread, unbelievable, beautifull, never knew
    Lahore, is superb

    @Abdulhai,

    thanks for e-mail reluctantexpatriate, my goodness, found
    many things common, namely
    Amritsar, Brit-Indian Army, 1857, Amritsar Post office,
    Kapurthala, Karachi-Ghausia Mosque , down wards
    American School, Razi Roadand further down my house.
    Certainly we know each other,( atleast our elders) I am,
    Great-grand-son of Dr Nabi Buksh BABA
    Amritsar 1857

    Rafay Kashmiri

  5. Sajjad says:
    August 29th, 2008 6:14 am

    Amazing timing. Just yesterday, I dropped into Lahore and was wondering what that beautiful square on Google Maps was.

  6. naseer says:
    August 29th, 2008 8:55 am

    Nice post!
    anyword about the usual encroachments or mismanagment?

  7. Deeda-i-Beena says:
    August 29th, 2008 5:05 pm

    Another Dimension:

    Thanks to Owais Mughal for the excellent Post on Model Town and the valuable comments by others.

    Long time ago I was told by someone I do not recall, that the inspiration for the lay-out Design of Model Town was provided by the

  8. Owais Mughal says:
    August 29th, 2008 11:42 pm

    @Abdulhai, thankyou for the background information on Model Town hitory you’ve provided

    @ Wasiq, Naseer, Rafay and Sajjad: shukria :)

    @deeda-i-beena: Very informative comment. thankyou.

  9. Moeen says:
    August 30th, 2008 3:01 am

    I spent my childhood in Model Town; I’m talking about 70s. Model Town is v different now. When you would enter right from Ferozpure road, you could feel cool air because of so many trees. The houses were old, with high roofs and with lots of area around it; with mango and jamin trees. There are only few houses like that now. There were less people, less trafic, few markets and MTBS. It used to be very foggy in winters. There used to be significant temprature difference between main city and MT. Its all changed now.

  10. Saad says:
    August 30th, 2008 9:30 am

    Great post, Mughal. Now am waiting for your post on Federal B Area as that is another excellently planned locality of Pakistan and of course being an islooite your post on Islamabad as well. Keep up the good work!

  11. Asma says:
    August 30th, 2008 9:48 am

    Excellent article. Very informative. I have spent so much time here but did not know most of this.

  12. Owais Mughal says:
    August 30th, 2008 11:35 am

    Saad, a post on Federal-b-Area will be coming soon. like you said it is also a very planned locality. I grew up in F.B. Area and North Nazimabad so they have a special place in my heart too.

  13. Zak says:
    August 30th, 2008 12:07 pm

    What about Hayatabad Peshawar..

  14. Owais Mughal says:
    August 30th, 2008 12:47 pm

    Zak sahab. Hayatabad Peshawar is certainly very well planned. My memories of it are however, from atleast 2o years ago and I am sure it is a totally different place by now. It is on our list to do an introductory write-up.

  15. Saad says:
    August 31st, 2008 7:27 am

    Thanks, Owais. I’ll wait for that.

  16. YLH says:
    September 1st, 2008 2:06 am

    Fantastic.

    For most of my life I have lived in and around Model Town. I absolutely love the place… and would love to live there again in the future.

  17. YLH says:
    September 1st, 2008 2:42 am

    Also… Model Town is sacred soil for me… my father is buried there… in G block.

  18. rafay alam says:
    September 2nd, 2008 8:32 am

    Everyone knows that Lahore

  19. anand says:
    January 4th, 2009 1:22 am

    hi.i am anand from india.are there any discos in lahore?

  20. shahzad shameem says:
    March 26th, 2009 2:54 am

    Dil khush kar dia ha JINABB Mughal sahib. MAZA aa gia, seem we are really progressing, oh YES we are really progressing, we are the ONE on EARTH who reached,

    kantay say KOHUTA tak.

    In the beginning our officers don’t have stepllers and pins, so they pin the documents with KANTAY of bushes and then we reach to KOHUTA and become the First MUSLIM Nation holding ATOMIC POWER.

    When you are focusing Abbottabad?

  21. Ch. Muhammad Tariq Gujjar says:
    March 31st, 2009 7:56 am

    Asslam-o-Alaikum All Friends,

    I am Ch. Muhammad Tariq Gujjar from J-Block, Model Town Lahore Pakistan, i appreciate this site because i have acheived a lot of knowledge from this site regarding model town history. Thanks

    Allah Bless our country… Ameen….

    Best Regards,

    Ch. Muhammad Tariq Gujjar 786

  22. Bill Chan says:
    May 31st, 2009 2:08 am

    Hello my Pakistan friends, this is Bill, sales of solar water heaters in your friendly neighbour, China. Model town fascinate me much with its special layout, I am dreaming that one day I could visit there in person, also I am hoping to make some dedication to the construction of the beautiful city by distributing some green energy devices such as solar water heaters and central soalr water heating system. Pakistani support Pakistani, Chinese friends also support Pakistani forever.

  23. mughal says:
    July 30th, 2009 12:23 pm

    Fantastic.

    For most of my life I have lived in and around Model Town. I absolutely love the place

  24. Owais Mughal says:
    July 30th, 2009 1:16 pm

    Mughal Saheb. Thx for your comments here. Please share some more info. about your experience of living in model town. What did you like about it? Any comment on changes taking place in recent times? any thing that you didn’t like?

  25. Babar says:
    October 13th, 2009 1:10 pm

    Salam to all

    hy i’m Babar ali from Hyderabad, i actually study in City and regional Planning from Mehran university. i have studied so much about towns in Pakistan But i must say that this layout plan of model town have got uniqueness, thanx for giving us knowledge about model town.
    Take care

  26. shahzaib says:
    May 12th, 2010 11:05 am

    I love this blog. Thanks for the great information. I have it bookmarked and will be back.

  27. dakz says:
    April 3rd, 2011 1:28 pm

    Top 10 in Pakistan—-> paktop10.com/

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