The 29th AJI Frontier Seminar on the “Measuring the Impact of Built-environment in Urban Areas on Location Affordability: A Case Study of Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Pakistan”

On March 16, 2021, the 29th AJI Research Frontier Seminar was held online. This time, Mr. Khan Abu-Baker Rafat (Ph.D.candidate of the College of Policy Science in Ritsumeikan University) gave an informative presentation under the title of “Measuring the Impact of Built Environment in Urban Areas on Location Affordability: Case Study of Rawalpindi-Islamabad, Pakistan”. In his doctoral research, he mainly focuses on the issue of the sprawl phenomenon caused by the rapid urban development in the metropolitan areas of Rawalpindi and Islamabad in Pakistan. He conducts case studies on the above issue, while taking into account the urban-development policies in these areas from the perspective of improvements of living environments for local residents there. More specifically, he pointed out some problems about the Location Affordability Index that has been defined in the study of existing urban policies by some variables roughly based on housing and transportation costs. Against this way of definition, he tries to focus on the significance of a subtler view on the ordinary experiences of transportations of local residents under specific questions such as; ‘Who has access to certain facilities in city-centers?’, and ‘Which means of transportation are useful for whom?’. In doing so, his presentation showed the participants a better way to improve the Index for urban-development policy. In the lively Q&A time, participants mainly discussed issues of relationships between the urban-development policy and contemporary digitalization in the region and COVID-19’s effects on the above policy.

Mr. Khan delivering his research presentation