Lahore very (un)Livable?

Mercer Human Resource Consulting is a global conulting firm that amongst other things, carries out an annual Ranking of some of the major cities in world. It compiles this data to primarily advise global business on say, what city would be nice to live in, keeping in mind all the requirements of a modern fast paced world necessary for a modern business executive. These factors include “39 key quality-of-life issues”, things like the quality of the public transport network, the average cost of living in the city, sanitation etc etc etc and blah blah blah…and “political stability, currency-exchange regulations, political and media censorship, school quality, housing, the environment and public safety”.

So any way, for year 2007 the rankings were published a while back, and turns out that Lahore is amongst the

top 200 cities!

Well, the above figure means nothing since they only considered 215 cities!

Basically Lahore did not make top 100 even! The top city was Zurich Switzerland but thats besides the point for now.

Lahore got placed at 163rd position and held the same position last year as well. This is right behind Islamabad which placed 158 and a notch, okay two nothches, above Karachi which placed at 175. Islamabad and Karachi both slipped this year compared to last year. New Delhi and Bangalore in India placed above Islamabad.

Lahore secured a total of 56.5 points out of a possible 100. NewYork City (which i happen to also love as a tie with Lahore!) is the bench mark and is given hundred points. Hence Zurich Switzerland got 108.1 points as the winner.

So coming back to Lahore, looks like we have a lot of work cut out for us. I’m aiming for at least the top 100 for Lahore in the next 10 years, but then who knows?!

Things are getting done in the city, but to me certainly feels like there is no grand uniform scheme for the city. No long term vision laid out on paper to act as a guide on how to build the city further. The city has gotten built so far on whims and wishes and sometimes (gasp!) visions of its leaders (i’m thinking Shahbaz Sharif era 1997-1999), but how long can it sustain on such disjointed development?

Would we rather have Lahore become a slum like Mumbai in the next 10-15 years or are we as a city, and im not talking abt the city officials but the PEOPLE of the city, even remotely aware and cognizant of the future we would like the city to choose for itself?

Its time to think and time to put things into action in our own personal capacities. We dream and we write Lahore’s future today. Dont you think.

You can view the entire list of rankings here.

9 Comments so far

  1. Faraz (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 3:49 pm

    well, i have been to quite a few cities in the world, and here’s what i think of the entire situation:

    1) overall, infrastructure wise (roads, buildings, airport etc.) Lahore is actually doing much better than many cities. What it does lack is a good public transport system. (our public transport is actually very pathetic) This is where cities like Mumbai beat Lahore by a big margin.

    2) Lahore is much more beautiful and green than many large cities in the world. Its aesthetic appeal is tremendous

    3)Architecture is another element which makes Lahore one of the most attractive cities in the world. Lahore has its own unique architecture – a rare combination of moghul, british and modern world art clearly visible in its buildings

    4) Lahore lacks good modern amenities such as big hotels, shopping malls, cinemas etc. except for a very few. This is where it loses many points.

    5) Lahore’s food is among the best in the world.

    6) Lahore also lacks good museams (although there are good art centers i believe). But there are very few places to go to besides restaurants and coffee shops.

    7) Lahore is no doubt a cultural hub of the region taking lead in fashion, music, festivals, theatre, even writing in the entire south asia.

    8) Lahore has some of the best universities in the region

    9) street crime is still under control in Lahore. Its a relatively safer city to live in.

    10) If only Lahore was 100% literate…..

    Also I believe if Lahore can market / promote its pluse points well (authorities should hire a good advertising agency to develop a complete blueprint), it will see a much significant raise in its points on any list. I would definately keep Lahore in my top 100 list for now.


  2. Hasan Mubarak (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 1:20 am

    Man, I knew we were bad but didn’t expect our city to be ranked lower than Accra, Ghana! :|

    We seriously need to get working. In fact, all of Faraz’s points are valid, especially marketing our city wala point.

    Punjab Tourism Development Board should work on a Visit Lahore kind of a campaign. In a country where we can have pretty damsels bouncing on trains promoting mobile connections, developing a creative tourism campaign should not seem impossible.

    Another important issue is that of pollution. With every new addition of a motor running on roads, our city’s beauty is degrading at an enormous rate. Mass transit seems to be the best solution for that…

    With all this, please give Momers a standing ovation. It’s his first post; long way to go dude! :)


  3. binary-zero (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 5:41 pm

    i guess all it needs a good projection for these scores …


  4. Caveman (unregistered) on May 28th, 2007 @ 9:40 am

    Get rid of the bloody rickshaws, They are nuisance and cause pollution


  5. iblees (unregistered) on May 28th, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

    just a minor note, NYC IS NOT the benchmark here, NOR it’s the “possible” 100 points, what they’ve used is 39 factors to calculate “index” and that’s what the score represents; so nyc is on 41st place. In top 25 countries, the only north american country is Canada.


  6. iblees (unregistered) on May 28th, 2007 @ 2:42 pm

    NYC is 46th in fact.


  7. MB (unregistered) on May 29th, 2007 @ 1:02 am

    I am thinking about getting this onto KARACHI METROBLOG too.

    Karachi is on 175th ?? WTF

    And what really pissed me off is TEHRAN is at 176th. Well i never been to Tehran but i know quite a lot of people who had been there and they call Karachi a crap infront of TEHRAN. How did Karachi beat TEHRAN ?

    As for Lahroe well i heard from my Punjabi friends alot about LAHORE and from their observation things are improving there. Not sure if thats the truth.

    You guys let us know


  8. nida (unregistered) on June 7th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    i think lahore is the best … infact it is. jitni bhi burai hai par lahore lahore hai!!!!!!!!


  9. Jamshed. A (unregistered) on June 14th, 2007 @ 11:06 pm

    I agree with Nida (jitni bhi burai hai par lahore lahore hai!!!!!!!!
    ) no matter what anyone says…Lahore is Lahore and if you haven’t seen Lahore , then you haven’t seen anything..

    Oh, How I miss Lahore….



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