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Edits made by Don Brown on 15 July 2015A tale of three cities: Density regulations vs realityPoor residents in South Asian cities live together in high numbers that easily surpass the limits set in planning regulations. What can be done to create more housing for the poor without compromising on safety and liveability?

The houses that Karachi's poor wantKarachi is building upwards to house its expanding population, but unregulated building leaves poor families at risk.

Paposh Nagar was created as a plot settlement in 1954 for migrants from India. It was designed as 417 plots of 38.5 square metres each. 

Khuda Ki Basti 3 is a 10-year-old settlement within Khuda Ki Basti, Karachi, consisting of 1237 plots each of 67 square metres. 

Arif Hasan charts the scale of settlement in Pakistan and its consequences. He surprises the audience with statistical evidence that calls for a second look at the population demographic.

This short film examines the development of 4 settlements that were studied in Karachi, Pakistan, and summarises the main conclusions of the report, considering how a different approach could accommodate the need for density and still improve quality of life for residents.

Let's get compactThe future sprawls before us — urban sprawl, that is. John Vidal of the UK Guardian says that in 50 years, we could see ‘vast “mega-regions” which may stretch hundreds of miles across countries and be home to more than 100 million people’.In fact, they’re here already: the gargantuan Hong Kong-Shenhzen-Ghaungzhou conurbation, to take just one example, houses more than 120 million people.Whether in-migration to these regions is a trickle or a flood (and the downturn has apparently had a mixed effect on migration to cities), the urban pull remains powerful, as the poor chase jobs and escape degraded rural environments or conflict.