LEADING Scottish architecture firm RMJM has unveiled plans for a new city, near Karachi in Pakistan, being built by the country's Defence Housing Authority (DHA) in a project that recalls Anglo-Greek collaboration on the design for Islamabad in the 1960s.

The Dubai studio of the Edinburgh-based company has set out its grand vision for a city of 50,000 residential and commercial plots, health and higher education institutes, theme parks, a convention centre, sports and recreation facilities as well as resorts, shops and restaurants.

RMJM, which is still best known at home for its involvement in the work on the Scottish Parliament building, won a design competition in August of last year to undertake the master planning study of DHA City in Karachi on an 11,640 acre rural site.

It is working with Greek firm Doxiadis and Pakistani engineering consultancy Osmani Associates along with Spiro Pollalis, professor of design technology and management at Harvard Design School, as chief planner.

Ziyad Mahmoud, associate at RMJM said: "It is particularly special for us to be working with Doxiadis, as (its founder) Constantinos Doxiadis was very good friends with Sir Robert Matthew (one of the founders of RMJM) and they collaborated together on the masterplan of Islamabad throughout the 1960s."

The plans utilise the planning principles behind the Ekistics theory developed by Mr Doxiadis.

Mr Mahmoud said: "This theory promotes the concept of mixed use residential sectors by creating multiple centres within them spreading facilities such as commerce, amenities and parks throughout these areas.

"The principle behind the masterplan is a group of self-sustaining cities within a city, with community amenities accessible to all residents within a 10 minute walk."

The downtown district of the city will have a car-free pedestrianised route at its heart along with tree-lined pathways, garden courtyards, water features and piazzas.

The DHA recently allocated a total of 1.03 billion rupees (£7.4 million) towards development work on the site.

Balloting to allocate the residential and commercial plots was held in 2009 which was open to non-military as well as applicants from the armed forces.

Construction on the new city is expected to start in early 2012, with full completion expected by 2030.