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Colonial impact on urbanisation of the West Punjab: Development of the headquarter towns of Canal Colony districts as imperial centres, 1849-1947

Jahangir, Amna 2018. Colonial impact on urbanisation of the West Punjab: Development of the headquarter towns of Canal Colony districts as imperial centres, 1849-1947. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Addressing the urbanisation of West Punjab region(presently in Pakistan), this thesis analyses how space was restructured in old and new towns and districts for fulfilling imperial imperatives of power and economy during the British rule from 1849 to 1947. The research studies the historical evolution of urban form of district headquarter towns in relation to town’s role in the region. It is based on archival research, extensive fieldwork and case studies. Conducted at both regional and urban scales, instead of focusing capital cities of Lahore and Multan, the study draws attention to the development of medium sized towns. It discusses headquarter towns of eight canal colony district: Gujranwala, Gujrat, Jhang, Lyallpur, Montgomery, Sargodha, Sheikhupura, and Sialkot. Situated in between big cities and small towns and villages, these towns acted as middle centres of imperial power and economy. The thesis argues that these old and new towns were not developed in isolation, but rather as a part of a larger imperial system that ensured and enabled the dissemination of political and economic authority and control over the region’s populace and produce. The thesis also documents for the first time, with a photographic survey, the architecture of colonial buildings found in these towns. The thesis brings out the significance of studying the development of a colonial town in relation to its regional context and role. It is concluded that restructuring of West Punjab, through various means including agricultural colonisation, infrastructural networks, making of new districts, extension of old towns and planning of entirely new towns, was in accordance with the imperial necessities of power and economy. As such, the urbanisation of this region was affected in an unprecedented way, increasing the population, agricultural produce and trade activity, as well as establishing a new settlement pattern, while prompting the reorganisation of regional space and urban centres. The study highlights that the imperial rule brought into its net of influence, control and order, not only the big cities but also the towns and villages spread across the vast landscape of West Punjab.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Architecture
Uncontrolled Keywords: Colonial impact; Urbanisation; West Punjab; Pakistan; Headquarter towns; Canal Colony; Imperial
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 22 January 2019
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2019 11:22

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