Why is public transport so inefficient in Pakistani cities? Where does the problem lie? This book is the first serious effort to answer these questions. At present urban transport in Pakistan is managed by building larger and better roads. By contrast the principles of sustainable urban transport encourage the use of non-motorised and public transport. These modes of transport can be more successful in high density Pakistani cities, but the direction of transport policy is in the opposite direction: towards heavy investment only in roads. The study of transport institutions in Pakistan indicates that transport solutions are primarily a matter of the export of knowledge from the developed to the developing world. This results in a mismatch of transport policy with local needs for mobility and safety, as well as ecological sustainability. The concept of path dependence is developed to explore how urban transport solutions in Pakistan become locked-in over time as a result of past decisions on infrastructure investment, funding priorities, organisational structure, specific techniques and mental models of international and local institutions.
This book has identified institutions, techniques and discourse fields in path dependence as barriers to sustainable urban transport in Pakistan and suggested building the policy capacity of local institutions for institutional change in Pakistani cities.
Dr Muhammad Imran is a lecturer in the Resource and Environmental Planning programme at Massey University, New Zealand where he teaches transport and urban planning.