My City: Khurram Siddiqi on how not to get lost in Lahore, Pakistan

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TED Blog

By Nicola Twilley

“In Lahore, you don’t get lost: you start off lost,” explains Khurram Siddiqi. “It’s a condition, not a situation.”

Siddiqi, and his friends Asim Fayaz and Omer Sheikh, decided to collaborate on a proposal to install and maintain road signs in the city after it took several phone calls and half an hour for Fayaz to navigate the 5-minute drive from a main road to Siddiqi’s house for a TEDx planning meeting back in 2010. With $10,000 in seed funding from the TED City 2.0 Award, the trio chose the streets of Allama Iqbal Town, a densely populated area developed in the late 1970s in southwestern Lahore, as their testing ground.

The neighborhood is named after the national poet of Pakistan, and, fittingly, words decorate almost every surface: store awnings stacked several stories high, political banners strung across the street, billboards for the…

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