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Royal Commonwealth Society : Lahore town planning photographs


Royal Commonwealth Society

<p style='text-align: justify;'>A collection of prints mounted on art paper with letterpress captions and measuring approximately 150 x 110 mm. The report to which these are connected (Sullivan 1928) highlights the expansion of the city and its future potential, emphasizing the need for coordinated planning policy to preserve its original character and concluding that 'walking about the city day after day it becomes evident that its outstanding qualities are virility, wealth and growth ... As provision has already been made for good water and sanitary services it should not be enormously costly to carry out the improvements necessary ... There is no need to acquire great areas of land and property in order to drive straight roads through the city, as is sometimes suggested. This is unskilful and costly and takes no account of the inhabitants and their trades which are displaced. It takes away the characteristics of the city and causes hardship. Careful observation on the ground will show the town planner many cases where he can acquire property cheaply from which he may form chauks and connecting streets running, like a string of beads, along the lines of least resistance. Given the town planner, his civic survey, his town plan and his programme, a Board, provided by the Government with a small recurring grant, and acting with continuity of policy should be able to make Lahore into an ideal city with an expenditure of not more than Rs. 15 laks [lakh=100,000] spread over ten years...' (Sullivan 1928, p.7).</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> The photographs themselves illustrate deficiencies due to lack of forethought in town planning, overcrowding and sanitary arrangements. The catalogue listings note the main title, supplementary notes supplied with the prints, and in some cases quotes from the main body of the report where there is a direct reference. Additional comments by the cataloguer are enclosed in square brackets.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'>Photographer unknown.</p><p style='text-align: justify;'> Basil Martin Sullivan (1882-1946), the author of the report, practised as an architect in England from 1904-13 and the following year was appointed to serve in India where he remained until his retirement from the post of Superintending Architect and Town Planner to the Punjab Government in 1938. Public works erected to his designs include the Civic Centre and the Punjab Legislative Council Chamber in Lahore, buildings for the Punjab University and the new Punjab High Court. In a private capacity he was responsible for the British Legation in Kabul and the Legislative Council Chamber at Peshawar. Some of the additions to Government House, Lahore, are also his work.</p>

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