“A capital city exercises great influence on the entire country. Thus its inhabitants should not belong only to one social group (economic, political, ethnic etc), but should belong to as many groups as possible – in ratios corresponding as closely as is feasible to the national ratios – so that its population is the best possible representation of the nation as a whole, and not of any specific group.”

–Doxiadis 1965, The Creation of a New Capital.

In 1959, Greek modernist architect-planner, Constantinos Doxiadis was assigned the task of designing a master plan for Islamabad, where he believed that a new capital was necessary because it would represent the diversity of the people of the country. A geometric grid would allow the city to grow in a rational manner.

While it gave the illusion of a uniform city, equally accessible to all, in reality it segregated its inhabitants by income and rank in government bureaucracy. Bureaucrats were allotted houses in the capital, and an officer’s grade in the government determined the design, size and location of his/her house in the capital. By and large, higher-ranking officers were provided larger plots in the northern and eastern part of the city, close to the administrative sector. This would save them the long commute to work and cut down congestion. Conversely low –income strata’s were allocated a limited number of plots at a considerable distance from the administrative area, translating into longer commutes and high transport costs. Today, Capital Development Authority (CDA) have not deviated from such a plan, where ‘illegal’ developments that tarnished Islamabad’s beauty and orderliness, are demolished- unwilling to take similar action against high-middle income housing schemes. The right to the city has always remained in the hands of a few.