The historic Frere Hall dates from the early British colonial era in Sindh. Completed in 1865, Frere Hall was originally intended to serve as Karachi’s town hall and now serves as an exhibition space and library.
Frere Hall is located in central Karachi’s colonial-era Saddar Town. The hall is located between Abdullah Haroon Road (formerly Victoria Road) and Fatima Jinnah Road (formerly Bonus Road).
The open parks are frequented by citizens for recreation, discussion groups, or students. However, the decision by authorities to set a gate at the entrance has been met with displeasure with many calling it an eyesore and urging the Sindh government to stop it.
Frere Hall is one of the most Democratic, Interactive, and Well-Utilized Public Spaces for all classes in Karachi. Today, neo liberal decisions of fencing, gating, arching is as an act of obstruction / protecting Public Spaces needs debate with the Public. https://t.co/9dSKWhblvE
— Marvi Mazhar (@marvimazhar) June 18, 2022
Architect and urban planner Marvi Mazhar said “Frere Hall is one of the most Democratic, Interactive, and Well-Utilized Public Spaces for all classes in Karachi. She said, “neo-liberal decisions of fencing, gating, arching is as an act of obstruction/protecting Public Spaces needs debate with the public.”
She called for having an open dialogue on the design decision. “Any mega-city – State makes urban decisions by involving citizens. Let’s bring this practice to our part of the world. Let’s think of interventions bottom up,” she added.
Amidst rising temperatures/heatwaves/chronic heat, #parks play critical role as #CoolingCenters for vulnerable & poor. Government’s plan to enclose #Karachi Frere Hall by fencing, gating, charging fees, flies in the face of calls for urgent heat risk mitigation strategy/policy. https://t.co/py6UQ5JdGV
— Karachi Urban Lab (@KarachiUrbanLab) June 18, 2022
The Karachi Urban, which focuses on critical urban planning, said the government’s plan to enclose Karachi Frere Hall by fencing, gating, charging fees, flies in the face of calls for urgent heat risk mitigation strategy policy during heat waves.
Members of civil society have also opposed the move and have staged a protest on Sunday.
of #Karachi & shud b accessible 2 all.
Who do u want 2 keep out??#FrereHall shud be open/green /accessible.
— Pakistan Maholiati Tahaffuz Movement (@PakMaholThfz) June 17, 2022
#saynotofrerehallgate Gating,fencing,barbed-wiring,cordoning…we have had enough of it! Say “NO” to putting up this monstrosity of a gate on both entrances of the Frere Hall. It is our right as citizens to have unobstructed entry to publicparks. Concerned citizens gathered today pic.twitter.com/3lPomoU8Q5
— Rumana Husain (@husain_rumana) June 19, 2022
Frere Hall ko reha karo pic.twitter.com/iKiEs4fNDC
— Sophia Hasnain (@sophasnain) June 19, 2022
Frere Hall is one place that is open to everyone. Please let it be. Karachi walon ko jeene do #SaveFrereHall #ProtestOnSunday #Karachi #ThankYouImranKhan #مہنگائی_نامنظور #مشکل_فیصلے_روشن_مستقبل pic.twitter.com/aWr6mvhCys
— Dr. Amna Jamal (@amnakegossips) June 19, 2022
— Zulfikar Ali Bhutto ذوالفقار علي ڀٽو (@BhuttoZulfikar) June 17, 2022
Frere Hall is one of Karachi’s most democratic, lively, and well-utilized public spaces where everyone still has the freedom to stroll in. It is the primary relaxation and recreation space for people of all classes. We, as citizens, reject the Frere Hall fencing. #SaveFrereHall pic.twitter.com/bHPVZrnVys
— دانش (@mesmerisingvoid) June 18, 2022