Rapid commercial conversion of agriculture land in Lahore Division, Pakistan

Imtiaz Hassan


Background: Pakistan is experiencing rapid population growth and urbanization which require land in urban areas. Rapid commercial conversion of has dramatically changed agriculture land base. The present conversion policy is not capable to achieve principles and objectives of sustainability especially in agriculture areas.

Methods: The methodology includes literature review and collection of data by using random systematic sampling technique. Surveys of key informants, adjoining neighbors and owners of properties were conducted in the field. The study is focused to identify the negative effects of commercial conversion of land uses; major causes of illegal conversion; major driving forces; actors behind the commercial conversion of agriculture land and profit maximization arising from increasing demand of commercial spaces, physical aging of residential building structure leading to obsolesces are the main contributing factors giving rise to commercial conversion of land uses in Lahore Division.

Results: The researcher founded that main problems of study area resulting from illegal land conversion include shortage of parking space, security risks, harassment of LDA staff, traffic congestion, environmental pollution, destruction of social life, lack of utility services, abuse of land and poor governance.

Conclusion: The commercial conversion is dimensioning agriculture land and development is taking place in piecemeal fashion. The study recommends the dire need of spatial planning, proper zoning, enforcement of value tax, sustainable commercial conversion policy, compact and mixed development policy, sustainable land use planning and development of a planning system with effective enforcement measures which itself guarantee a sustainable land use development and rational utilization of prime agriculture land. 

Keywords: Commercial Conversion, Land Use, Master Planning, Local Government, Driving Forces, Driving Actors and Agriculture Zone

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