the pakistani planner

Pakistan needs a different breed of planners than what the world is producing at the moment. All the discussions on planning forums these days is about the cutting edge;  more specifically technology. I agree that technology has a role to play in our lives but somehow we are getting a bit carried away. No longer are our discussions about how people live their lives or about better understanding the underlying human truths. Pakistan still has a long way to go before we can start adopting the technologies that make life better in the west. From water pumps that can be turned on and off through sms to cattle being traded online during Eid-ul-Adha there are far more important planning topics to be discussed than how technology can make the life of a poor farmer living in Chichawatni better. Rather than looking at the outside world for inspiration and forcing it on our society we need an indigenously developed think tank which operates inside-out. Our problems are unique to us and our society unlike any other. I feel that however much the world creeps towards becoming a global village, the niches, the differences would never cease to exist. However much our future converges towards a single race, we can never take away the differences of our past, our unique history which still identifies our DNA, something embedded deep within our soul never to be taken away from us.

As planners, if we look back, we have very little to work with in terms of things that we can call our very own. There is very little research to go around and not enough studies done to understand our consumer, his/her motivations, likes and dislikes. Whatever little that there is available is mostly true for the urban customer reflecting more often than not, the personal experiences of the planner himself. Nevertheless, all is not lost, there are still brands out there who invest in figuring out the changing needs and lifestyles of their customers. From pearl dust mapping out the regional sindhi customer to PTC, nailing the consumer profile for gold flake, it is these people who can bring about a planning revolution in Pakistan. If only, they can be inspired to gather on a single forum and present their customer to the planning community in the most vivid picture possible.

 

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~ by illuxon on November 26, 2009.

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