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Dynamics of non-conform spaces in a planned modern city: the case of France colony in Islamabad

Tariq, Hira
Cities planned with modernist notions are often critiqued by mapping the discord between the original plans and the material reality; the ideal and the real. This approach considers all deviations from the initial master plan as direct instances of the failure of modernism. This research aims at furthering the understanding of planned modern urbanism by investigating the relation between formal and informal planning processes. It does so by negating the existence of non-conform spaces due to inherent flaws in the modern ideology. Rather by considering the planimplementation as a continuous and reciprocal process instead of a sequential one, it shows that under different conditions, the creation of non-conform spaces institute changes in the original plan. By taking on the planned capital city of Islamabad (1959-63) and viewing its development through an urbanist lens, the thesis touches upon the landscape of non-conform spaces in the city to study the positive role of spatial non-conformity in the operationalization of contemporary cities. It departs from existing literature that views the formal and informal processes as binary oppositions and limits the possibilities of investigating any other kind of relation between the two-urban phenomenon. Finally, it focuses on one squatter settlement (one of the major types of non-conform spaces in Islamabad) namely the France Colony to explore in detail, the actions that force us to acknowledge the pervasiveness of non-conforming spaces in highly planned contexts. It investigates the role of state and non-state actor enmeshed in its sustenance and the entanglement with legal procedures to extend stay.