In February 1959, when the decision to transfer the official capital of Pakistan from Karachi to Islamabad was made, a commission and nine sub-committees were formed.

C.A. Doxiadis is a Greek architect and Town planner, and was chosen as the lead architect of Islamabad. He started advising on the location and planning of the new capital in 1955 when he submitted his first report. In March 1959, a site was approved which was located at the foot of the Margala Hills in northern Pakistan between the historical cities of Lahore and Peshawar, west of the Idaspis (now Jhelum) river where Alexander the Great defeated King Poros. Islamabad represents Pakistan’s first New town project. This primarily because Islamabad’s plan shows connectivity on all levels; within the city, natural landscape is integrated with open spaces, which creates an urban system that is connected to the natural areas surrounding the city.

Now increasing economic activities have given birth to high rise building, residential apartments, housing schemes, educational institutions, industrial units and new markets. These pressures forced Capital Development Authority (CDA) to alter the master plan of Islamabad and upgrade the physical infrastructure. Islamabad is a unique example of a large new city that has been planned for the future and built for the present, fully respecting the long-term planning.

VIJDAN SAEED,

Islamabad, January 24.