17th October, 2021

Workshop organized by KUL with the IRS- Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space

The Karachi Urban Lab hosted our colleagues from IRS- Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space on 17th October 2021 for a workshop at IBA. They shared the preliminary findings from their on-going project "Conquering (with) Concrete: German Construction Companies as Global Players in Local Contexts"


5th July, 2021

First Responders, Heat wave and Rain Emergency

The Karachi Urban Lab organized a workshop at IBA City Campus for first responders from different organizations dealing with Heat waves, Rains and other Disasters in Karachi. Representatives from organizations including Al-Khidmat Karacchi, Faizaan Global Relief Foundation, Caritas Pakistan, Farozaan and Deliver Karachi Forum joined us to discuss the experiences, difficulties and plans for dealing with the on-ground situation that emerges in the city in the aftermath of different disasters. They shared their on-going and future preparedness initiatives, particularly those relating to heat and rain emergencies, for dealing with the monsoon season 2021 and its impacts on the city of Karachi.

Film Screening

9th February, 2021

Documentary ‘Life Cycle'

The Karachi Urban Lab hosted a screening and panel discussion of the film "Life Cycle" which ethnographically and visually documents the everyday use of bicycles among Kolkata’s city dwellers. The film's director, Dr Malini Sur, investigates how cycling mediates people’s changing relationships to cities in South Asia. Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), the largest city in eastern India, is the primary focus of Life Cycle. This city has 1.68 million cyclists, records 2.5 million cycle trips a day, has the least amount of road space (6 percent) in metropolitan India, and has the second highest air pollution level. By 2017, traffic regulations prohibited cycling on seventy city roads. Who will win the battle for the road? The humble bicycle or the car?

The screening was followed by a panel discussion with the director, Dr Malini Sur (Anthropologist- Western Sydney University) and Manas Murthy (Architect/Urban Designer - University of Oregon). The discussion was moderated by Dr. Nausheen Anwar and included a Q&A session from the online audience.


26th January, 2021

Disaster Management, Risk and the City

Karachi Urban Lab hosted a round table discussion, inviting Caritas Pakistan and Al Khidmat Karachi to present their work on disaster management and relief. Participants discussed and explored the links between disasters, risks, and climate change. Members from academic institutions, students, activists, NGO representatives, and environmentalists were invited to attend the seminar, share their ideas, and contribute towards understanding climate crisis impacts on diverse urban communities in Karachi.

Community Meeting

11th January, 2021

Karachi’s Displacement Scenario

Karachi Urban Lab organized a meeting with various community representatives and activists. In Karachi, many informal settlements are under threat of eviction due to different development projects including widening of drainage channels of nullahs. In this meeting the community representatives and activists shared the on-ground situation and discussed their experiences, trials and tribulations, and expectations about their futures in the context of Karachi’s violent urban planning and politics.


October 11, 2019

Evictions & Displacement Dialogue

Ghani and Tayyab Auditorium (GT) Auditorium at IBA Karachi’s Main Campus

Precarious land tenure regimes underwrite ordinary citizens' housing and employment conditions in urban Pakistan. In Karachi, a recent wave of Supreme Court backed anti-encroachment drives has displaced formal/informal businesses, evicted people from their homes, and destroyed other structures deemed 'illegal'. Even though Karachi's yearlong anti-encroachment drives have been widely reported in mainstream media, the narratives overlook the voices of those directly impacted. In our evictions and displacement dialogue, we aim to address this gap by inviting residents from settlements that have been demolished or are under threat of eviction. Our panelists will discuss their experiences, trials and tribulations, and expectations about their futures in the context of Karachi's violent urban planning and politics. These are residents, advocates and community activists.


April, 2019

Understanding Infrastructural Space

Ghani and Tayyab Auditorium (GT) Auditorium at IBA Karachi’s Main Campus

In April, 2019, the Karachi Urban Lab organized a two-day workshop "Understanding Infrastructural Space" at the IBA Main Campus. The closed workshop was led by Dr Nishat Awan, Senior Lecturer in Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr Nishat is presently a Visiting Fellow at KUL where she has organized workshops for undergraduate and graduate students to explore key concepts and theories concerning infrastructure and development in the Global South. This first workshop was attended by students from IBA, NED University, Sir Syed University and SZABIST.


March 28, 2019

Urban Water Dialogue I

Following up on its commitment to organize several public dialogues on water, the Karachi Urban Lab held its second event "Urban Water Dialogue" moderated by Dr Abdul Haque Chang, Assistant Professor Anthropology, SSLA, IBA. This event focused on Karachi's complex water supply challenges and the role of the water utility, Karachi Water & Sewerage Board (KWSB). The panelists included social activist and historian Mr Kul Hasan Kalmati, General Secretary Labor Union KWSB Syed Mohsin Raza; historian Dr Kaleemullah Lashari, and Hisaar Foundation's Ms Simi Kamal. THe event was also attended by the Dutch Ambassador to Pakistan, Mrs. Ardi Stoios-Braken, who gave opening remarks on 'Dutch expertise' in water.


November 23, 2018

Dialogue on Pakistan's Water Scarcity in the 21st Century

On 23rd November 2018, the Karachi Urban Lab held its first water dialogue, "Dialogue on Pakistan's Water Scarcity in the 21st Century" at the IBA, Main Campus. The event was open to the public and the speakers included Dr Hassan Abbas from CST, Ms Sana Baxamoosa from the Hisaar Foundation, Dr Noman Ahmed from NED UET, and Mr Faisal Hasan, an agriculturalist from Punjab. The event was moderated by journalist and geographer Ms Afia Salaam. The speakers shared their knowledge about a complex issue that defines Pakistan's future. Key questions posed were; Can dams help win the battle? Is institutional reform the answer? Or is water conservation the way forward?


September 11, 2018

Land Acquisitions & Media Reporting in Pakistan

Karachi Urban Lab organized a media workshop "Land Acquisitions & Media Reporting in Pakistan" held at the Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ), IBA. The objective was to share with journalists the empirical findings of an 18-month research project conducted by Dr Nausheen H. Anwar & Dr Amiera Sawas, on large-scale fossil fuel and green energy projects and their impacts on land access and livelihood systems in hinterland regions of Thar, Sindh and Cholistan, Punjab. Advocate Zubair Abro, who is a lawyer for petitioners in litigation involving Thar coal, also joined as a speaker. While the projects aim to facilitate Pakistan in overcoming its longstanding energy crisis, there are significant issues concerning the process of land acquisition on which such projects rely. The workshop posed key questions; what is the relevance of 21st century legal mechanisms to land acquisition in mega-projects? What is the role of the media in reporting on land acquisition and legal processes? Is the media a neutral observer or an activist? The workshop was an open discussion with journalists and media representatives on how to report on land acquisition for mega-projects in future. It also touched on the broader, intersecting issues of climate change, energy and security in Pakistan, and how journalism can keep citizens up to date and duty-bearers accountable.