Punjab Urban Resource Centre


Punjab Urban Resource Centre (PURC) was established in October 2001 by a group of individuals comprising development professionals, community activists, architects, sociologists and teachers. In general, urban development planning in Pakistan is top down and takes place without consultation with interest groups, especially poor communities. For this reason, development is often non-representative and unable to effectively meet the needs of the citizens. PURC seeks the involvement of citizens and communities in the planning and decision-making process in order to make development more responsive to the needs of people. Through research, PURC attempts to understand urban and development-related issues, and with advocacy influences these in the light of a pro-poor approach.

Urban development planning in Pakistan is top down and takes place without consultation with interest groups, especially poor communities. As a result urban development promotes the interests of the elite and formal sector developers. Low income communities and the informal private sector are more often than not the victims of this development.  In addition, politicians and planners are obsessed with grandiose mega projects whereas simple solutions can be successfully applied by involving and supporting various interest groups, NGOs and academia. Most mega projects in Pakistan have increased Pakistan’s debt and adversely affected the social and economic fabric of poor communities and their settlements and created major environmental problems as well. The PURC seeks the involvement of citizens and communities in the planning process so as to overcome some of these problems.


  • To encourage transparency and accountability of government and private bodies in the development, planning, and policy making processes.
  • To advocate for the participation of public and academia as the stakeholders in all stages of development, through public hearings and consultations with citizens.
  • To provide alternatives to projects which are likely to have adverse environmental, social, technical or economic effects on the city and its more vulnerable communities.
  • To encourage dialogue and information exchange between communities, government and professionals on development, planning and policy issues.
  • To develop liaison with and understand the work of active citizens, community-based organisations and NGOs throughout the city of Lahore.
  • To strengthen common advocacy concerns through networking and liaison between country-wide Urban Resource Centres (URCs) and peoples’ organisations and citizen’s groups.

To meet these objective the PURC carries out the following activities. 

  • Issue-based Information CollectionPURC collects information on various issues through daily newspaper clipping and their analysis; information collection from government departments, media, and different national and international organisations.
  • Reserach and DocumentationPURC studies and documents selected development activities in the city, and collects documentation on the ongoing work of different government and non-government organizations on urban and development-related issues.
  • Forums ProgrammePURC holds regular monthly/bi-monthly forums open to all citizens and local government representatives and planning institutions. The aim of the forums program is to arrive at an informed understanding of development, policy and planning issues through information exchange and debate.
  • Library PURC makes all this information available in the form of a reference library consisting of books, reports, maps, and by transcribing of the forum debates.
  • Laison and Advocacy with Government DepartmentsPURC liaises and advocates its concerns with the Provincial government, City Government/City District Government Lahore and line agencies.