Design of towns today | Sustainable Town planning

What is town planning?

The difference between town planning and architecture should be noted. The town planning expresses an era. The architecture reveals its spirit.

Evolution of planning

In the ancient times, the primitive men used to stay in tribes and they formed groups for mutual protection for carrying out business activities and maintaining a social life. The location of the settlements was decided taking into consideration the ease of defense, climatic factors, business facilities etc.

radial network london
Combination of concentric and radial pattern | London

As such cities, are as old as civilization as seen from the verbal connection between the words ‘city’ and ‘civilization’. By civilization, we mean urban civilization. There were obviously human groups before that period.

Designing towns today

Today, designing towns is not as easy as it used to be in the past. We have to deal with problems that did not exist in the past.

The requirements for the design of towns today:

Road network for cars

Town planning professionals have to consider the planning for the next 40 years while they plan the road network for the new city. Designing the road network itself constitutes a lot of complex calculations including increase in population density, wealth, increase in the number of private vehicles, public transport etc.

Public transport

We have to hire transportation planning professionals in order to establish an efficient public transport network for the automobiles. But this is not possible only with the help of transportation planning professionals. Town planners and transportation planning professionals have to work hand in hand in order to complement the road network with the new public transport.

Air pollution problems

Today, with the increase in the number of vehicles, there are severe air pollution problems which has resulted in an increase in the number of diseases caused due to polluted air.

Water pollution

Water pollution is another problem caused due to urbanization. Air pollution is also responsible for water pollution. Also, the industries discharge their waste into the natural water bodies making them deadly poisonous.

 Noise pollution

This has disrupted the peace of mind of the people. The honking and movement of vehicles has caused unbearable noise pollution.

Telephone networks
Electricity networks
Water treatment plants
Industrial townships

 On the design front, we have to take initiatives in order to reduce the problems caused by our new planning system. We are the ones who introduced cars in our system and made our lives completely dependent on them. Not only that, previously, towns and cities were designed for the people. Today, they are designed for the cars. They are designed in a way to take in the maximum number of cars possible without causing congestion and giving very little consideration to the pedestrians.

Today, the role of designers (town planners, architects, transportation planning professionals, engineers) is not just limited to designing towns and cities to take in traffic but to focus on reduces the number of cars in a way acceptable to people. Inducing a positive change in the lifestyles of the people with the aid of designing their environments that would encourage them to reduce using cars and then ultimately give up on the use of cars where unnecessary.

Further reading:

Problems in the city of Brighton

Energy efficient Urban Planning

Role of a Town planner

Designing satellite townships

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