Eighty-three percent of Lahore does not have a park within easy walking distance, which affects 8.1m people out of the city’s population of 9.8m.
The experts who put together these numbers did a study. Their paper was titled ‘Using GIS measures to analyse the spatial equity to public parks in Lahore metropolitan’. They presented it at the third international conference on urban and regional planning on March 15 and March 16 at the NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi.
The experts are Muhammad Ahmad Al-Rashid, a PhD student at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, who is also a lecturer at the Department of City & Regional Planning, UMT, Lahore, and Muhammad Nadeem Rao, who is an assistant director with the Multan Development Authority.
They wanted to find out how accessible parks were in the city which they measured in walking distance. They also looked at how many people were living in an area (population density).
They found that the total area of Lahore that does not have parks comes to (unserved area) is 146,606 hectares. Parks cover 1,370 hectares out of 177,200 hectares in Lahore. There are 1,072 parks in the Lahore which is only 0.77% of the total area.
Lahore became famous as a city of gardens during the Mughal era. But as its population has grown, its green spaces have changed. In 1998, its population was recorded as 6.39 million but this has increased to around 11 million in 2017.
The study analysed walking time to a park and distance setting an average walking speed at 400 meters in 5 minutes. The experts discovered that Wagha Town had the least parks and Gulberg had the most.