Placemaking in informal settlements: The case of France Colony, Islamabad, Pakistan
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© 2021 The Authors. Published by MDPI Publishing.
This paper provides an alternative perspective on urban informal settlements by analysing them as places of rural remnants, reservoirs of regional cultural heritage, and spaces entailing traditional sustainable elements that are brought to the urban realm by rural migrants. These socio-cultural and spatial attributes of a settlement converge under the notion of a “place.” Placemaking analysis is thus contended to be appropriate for comprehensive understanding of an informal settlement. The selected case study of France Colony, Islamabad, employs the placemaking methodology framework to investigate sustainability values and practices from the day-to-day living of its inhabitants. Data collected through on-site interviews during transect walks in France Colony are then translated into four maps as a spatio-cultural documentation of the sustainable elements found in the informal settlement. The four maps relate to form and users, activities and amenities, image and characteristics, and access and linkages. This systematic analysis assisted in categorising the sustainability characteristics of the informal settlements according to the three pillars (social, economic, and environmental) of sustainability. The findings show that the organic placemaking, originating from everyday life, values, behaviour, and lifestyle of the informal dwellers, allows for a strong and vibrant resilient community to emerge.
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